'They are disgusting human beings,' Katie Price exclusively told ITV News London
By Rags Martel, ITV News London reporter
Katie Price has slammed the "disgusting human beings" accused of making vile comments about her son in a Met Police WhatsApp group called 'Secret Squirrel S***'.
Speaking exclusively to ITV News London Katie Price described feeling "shocked and upset" and hoped anyone found guilty of sending the messages would go to prison.
It's alleged eight serving and former officers attached to the South East Command Unit used the WhatsApp group to post comments that were sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and "applauded sexual violence against women".
Several posts were made about Price’s son Harvey, who suffers from Prader–Willi syndrome and autism.
"They need to be punished, they were big enough to make all these comments and now they have to deal with the consequences," Price told ITV News London.
"This is a WhatsApp group made by eight police officers we are talking about a lot of messages going on for two years [between 2016 and 2018] and something has to be done."
"They are disgusting human beings!" Price added.
All eight officers are subject to three allegations and are said to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct and discreditable conduct.A disciplinary panel heard that Luke Thomas, who was the highest-ranking officer in the WhatsApp group, referred to Harvey in the WhatsApp group and mocked his weight.
Katie Price added: "I've got some comments here and some are just too shocking to say.
"There's one here which has a horrible swear word in it says: 'For a [swear word] he can't see and can't find his way to the fridge and a biscuit jar with little difficulty.'
"That's mocking Harvey for him being born blind.
"It is disgusting, it is shocking and it upsets me. It really does upset me but I have to be strong because I've got five children and the other four will read about this and I have to be strong for Harvey - it's shocking, it upsets me."
Former Police Sergeant Luke Thomas, former acting Police Sergeant Luke Allen, former Police Constable Kelsey Buchan, former Police Constable Carlo Francisco, former Police Constable Lee South, former Police Constable Darren Jenner, Police Constable Glynn Rees, and Officer B, who has been granted anonymity, faced a gross misconduct hearing at Empress State Building in Fulham, west London, on Tuesday.
"I know you can Google stuff and people are horrible about Harvey but this is a private WhatsApp group," Price said
"Who set up that group? Who wanted to join it and for what reason?
"From what I've gathered it is not just about Harvey there are other things they said about other people and I'm absolutely shocked.
"As a mother, I'm so heartbroken and so upset.
"Harvey luckily does not understand it but I do as my other children do - they are old enough to read this and my family. Something has to be done.
"If these guys are not punished then I give up because these are professionals you look up to and they need an example made.
"If there is not an example made of them then where do you go from there?
"Me being in the public eye - they picked on a boy who was about 15 at the time, he's 20 now, which makes it worse he was a minor.
"He cannot speak or defend himself but I will. They need to be punished."
She explained: "They were big enough to make all these comments and now they have to deal with the consequences."
Katie Price said she respected a lot of police officers who did an "amazing job" but they were being let down by some of their colleagues.
"Especially two sergeants and imagine how embarrassed their families feel," she added.
The 44-year-old TV personality shared an image of a letter detailing the misconduct on her Instagram story on Friday.
In the letter, which was addressed to Price and dated January 26, an investigator from the Discrimination Investigation Unit within the Professional Standards Department of the Met Police informed her that "a number of Metropolitan Police officers are alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in regards to Discreditable Conduct for being part of a WhatsApp group chat that has posted inappropriate and derogatory images of your son, Harvey Price".
Katie Price said prison should be considered as a punishment.
She added: "First of all, hopefully, they are going to prison for it and be punished.
"If they don't I want them to meet Harvey even though Harvey does not deserve that.
"Definitely an apology.
"This is not a money-making thing I just want an example done - these are police officers there to protect us.
"If they are doing it and getting away with it the system is corrupt.
"They are disgusting human beings."
Below: 'It's not just a few messages, we're on about a lot.' Watch Rags Martel's full report
Three former officers – Thomas, Allen and South admit gross misconduct for all allegations. Former officer Francisco admits gross misconduct for the first allegation and misconduct for the other two. Serving officer Rees and former officer Buchan admit misconduct for all allegations. Officer B denies the first allegation and admits misconduct for the second and third allegations. Former PC Jenner has not engaged with the misconduct hearing and the police have taken that to mean he does not admit either misconduct or gross misconduct.
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