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Crime

19th Jan 2023

Two retired Met Police officers charged over child sex abuse images

Steve Hopkins

The charges follow an investigation into a Met Chief Inspector found dead

Two retired Met Police officers have been charged with offences relating to possessing child sex abuse images following an investigation into a serving chief inspector found dead before he was charged with similar crimes.

Jack Addis, 63, of no fixed address and Jeremy Laxton, 62, from Lincolnshire, are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 9 February, Sky News reports. The men both left the Met more than a decade ago.

The news comes after forces were on Wednesday urged to check all officers and staff against national police databases to “identify anyone who has slipped through the net” in the wake of the David Carrick rape case.

Carrick, who was sacked by the Met Police at a misconduct hearing held in his absence in west London on Tuesday, was identified as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders after he pleaded guilty to dozens of rapes and sexual offences on Monday.

The 48-year-old, known to his colleagues as “B*****d Dave”, attacked at least 12 women over an 18-year period throughout his career at the Met where his role included policing parliamentary, government and diplomatic premises. Carrick, who was vetted by the Met in 2001 and again in 2017, and passed on both occasions, faced 49 charges.

Laxton is charged with conspiracy to distribute or show indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent photos of a child, possession of prohibited images of a child, possession of extreme pornographic images and intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence (misconduct in public office). Addis is charged with conspiracy to distribute or show indecent images of children.

The alleged offences took place between 1 January 2018 and 20 September 2021.

In a statement, the Met said the charges followed a “lengthy and complex” investigation into Richard Watkinson who was a serving Met Chief Inspector for neighbourhoods policing at the West Area Command unit.

The 49-year-old was found dead in Buckinghamshire on 12 January – the day he was due to answer bail to be charged with conspiracy to distribute or show indecent images of children; three counts of making indecent photos of a child; voyeurism and two counts of misconduct in public office.

His death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious and an inquest has been opened and adjourned.

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