‘Toxic’ police team busted with fake porn of Prince Harry and Kate Middleton

Members of a "toxic" police unit sent "explicit and highly offensive" fake pornographic pictures of the royal family to a work WhatsApp group, a disciplinary hearing has heard.

They included doctored images of Prince Harry and Kate Middleton having sex.

Six officers from Hampshire Police's Serious Organised Crime Unit (Socu) office in Basingstoke are accused of breaching professional standards by using "abhorrent" language and sending explicit messages.

Jason Beer QC, presenting the case against the officers, said that following an anonymous complaint, covert recording devices were placed in the unit's offices between March 9 and April 2, 2018.

The QC said that on May 22, 2018, Pc James Oldfield posted a Photoshopped image of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which had taken place three days earlier.

The image showed a black man exposing his genitals and the caption referred to the unit's only black officer, Detective Constable Sol Koranteng – who is not accused as part of the case – stating "that's where Sol was on Saturday".

Mr Beer suggested it was racist to send the image of a "black man with his penis out", but Oldfield said in interview that he was "not a racist person".

He added: "Sol's a black man on our team and I'm trying to make a joke out of that, saying that was Sol."

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Mr Beer said that later the same day, Oldfield posted a video showing a black man having sex with a drunk white woman at a bus stop, with a caption stating: "And that's where Sol is today."

He said Oldfield accepted that it was "outrageous", that he should not have posted the video, but had not intended to be racist.

Mr Beer said that on the same day, Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson sent an image to the WhatsApp group showing the Duke of Sussex having anal sex with the Duchess of Cambridge.

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He said the image was "explicit and highly offensive" and added that Ferguson admitted that it was "completely inappropriate" and said: "With hindsight there is absolutely nothing funny about it, it falls well below the professional standards expected of me."

Mr Beer said that Oldfield was also accused of turning up to work late for an 8am shift on April 1, 2018, while still intoxicated from being out drinking into the early hours.

Mr Beer said that Detective Inspector Tim Ireson, who is now retired, spoke to Oldfield after he asked not to be sent to help a colleague with a rape investigation in Southampton.

Oldfield is recorded saying: "I just don't really want to speak to anyone, I just don't want anyone to realise that I'm still pissed, (laughter), well not pissed, did I say that out loud?"

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Mr Beer said that Oldfield denied still being intoxicated when arriving at work, and Ireson did not consider him unfit for work or that he was under the influence of drink.

Mr Beer added: "This episode raises serious and difficult questions of a more general nature for Mr Ireson about the nature of his leadership and supervision of the unit."

Oldfield, Ferguson, Ireson, along with Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox and former Pc Craig Bannerman, are accused of breaching professional standards and all deny gross misconduct.

Giving evidence to the tribunal, Ireson said that swearing was in the "fabric" of the police force.

He said: "My boundary was I didn't like the c-word but I used the f-word, that is where I stood, I used the f-word and allowed the f-word to be used in the context of normal conversation which didn't amount to something discriminatory."

The hearing continues.

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