Met cop found dead ‘before being charged with child abuse images’

Pictured is Richard Watkinson Met Police Chief Inspector who was found dead before he was due to be charged with child abuse images

Richard Watkinson has been arrested on multiple alleged crimes involving child sexual abuse

A senior Metropolitan Police officer was reportedly found dead before he could be charged with possession of child sex abuse images.

Officials discovered the body of a man in his 40s at his home Thursday afternoon.

The body is believed to belong to Richard Watkinson, 49, The Sun revealed.

Sources told the outlet he was found dead the same day he was due to appear at a police station to be charged with multiple crimes related to child abuse content.

He reportedly had a trapdoor that led to a secret room in his home where he kept thousands of horrifying pictures and a stash of boys’ underwear.

The material was allegedly category A and B – penetration and sexual activity with an animal or sadism.

An acting official believed to be Watkinson was arrested on July 9 last year on allegations of misconduct in public office.

He was also accused of sending obscene messages, corruptly exercising police powers and violating data protection.

As part of an investigation, the officer’s home was searched and all the alleged contents of the child abuse were reportedly discovered.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (12921252a) General view of the New Scotland Yard sign at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters in Westminster. BBC License Fee Canceled, London, UK - 02 May 2022

Watkinson was a senior officer in the Metropolitan Police (Image: Shutterstock)

Eleven days later he was arrested on conspiracy to disseminate indecent images of children, voyeurism and misconduct in public office before being released on bail.

After a “lengthy and complex” investigation, Watkinson was reportedly due to appear at a police station last Thursday.

When he didn’t show up, his colleagues went to his house and found him dead.

A former employee told The Sun Watkinson was concerned he would appear in court and be named publicly.

They said: “He was under enormous psychological distress during his detention and there were concerns that he might commit suicide.

“The worst fears for his health have now been confirmed and he was found dead last week. It is suspected that he killed himself.’

Police said the death was “unexplained” but not suspicious. An investigation is to take place.

Two other men were charged last week with conspiracy to disseminate or display indecent images of children. Neither are cops.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/18/met-cop-found-dead-before-he-was-charged-over-child-abuse-images-18121005/ Met cop found dead 'before being charged with child abuse images'

Justin Scacco

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