Female police officer, 40, to stand trial for mocking George Floyd with racially-offensive WhatsApps

Female police officer, 40, will stand trial for mocking George Floyd by sharing racially-offensive WhatsApp messages

  • PC Joann Jinks, 40, was an officer at West Mercia Police at time of alleged texts
  • She will stand charged with three counts of sending grossly offensive messages 
  • Jinks was earlier accused of sending messages with fellow officer James Watts
  • Watts was jailed for 20 weeks in May for sending racist WhatsApp memes

A female police officer will stand trial accused of mocking George Floyd by sharing racially-offensive WhatsApp messages.

PC Joann Jinks, 40, was a serving officer at West Mercia Police at the time the messages were allegedly sent in June 2020.

The former officer will stand charged with three counts of sending grossly offensive messages on 4, 5 and 10 June 2020.

Earlier this year, Jinks was accused of sending offensive messages under the Communications Act 2003 along with another serving officer James Watts – also of West Mercia Police.

Watts was jailed for 20 weeks in May after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sending a grossly offensive or menacing message by a public communication network.

He was found to have posted racist WhatsApp memes mocking the death of George Floyd in May and June 2020, including one featuring a white dog wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing.

West Mercia Police Constable Joann Jinks pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates' Court on May 13 earlier this year

West Mercia Police Constable Joann Jinks pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on May 13 earlier this year

James Watts (pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates' Court) was jailed for 20 weeks earlier this year

James Watts (pictured outside Birmingham Magistrates’ Court) was jailed for 20 weeks earlier this year

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis during an arrest in which he was detained on the floor for almost nine minutes

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis during an arrest in which he was detained on the floor for almost nine minutes

Other racist messages shared by Watts featured images of a kneeling mat and a monkey.

His name was also added to the College of Policing’s barred list, meaning he will not be able to work in any policing role across the country for life. 

PC Jinks did not attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a hearing today, but her lawyer, Ian Bridge appeared via video-link.

He applied for Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram to recuse himself from the case, arguing there was a ‘real possibility of bias’ against PC Jinks as he had sentenced Watts.

Referring to the sentencing hearing earlier this year, Mr Bridge told the judge: ‘You are quoted as stating that these are the most serious offences.

‘You concluded that this was so serious that only immediate custodial sentence will deal with it.

‘The independent observer would inevitably be in view of the observation…that you had reached the conclusion that the photographs my client sent are grossly offensive.

‘It is inevitable…that my client will feel…that you have already made your mind up.’

But the Deputy Chief Magistrate refused to recuse himself from the case.

He told the court: ‘I take objection to the last comment that I have made my mind up.’

He added that he had not sat on a trial for Watts, had declared no findings and the sentence he delivered was not appealed.

PC Jinks, of Redditch, Worcestershire, will appear at the same court for a two-day trial on August 23.

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