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Two retired Met Police officers charged over child sex abuse images after senior officer from same investigation found dead
19 January 2023, 18:13
Two retired Metropolitan Police officers have been charged with child sex offences as part of an investigation into a serving chief inspector who was found dead.
In a statement, the Met said the charges followed a "lengthy and complex" investigation into Richard Watkinson, 49, who was a serving Met chief inspector.
Watkinson did not turn up to a police station on the day he was to be charged. He had been suspended from duty following his arrest.
He was found dead in Buckinghamshire on January 12 - the same 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.
Jack Addis, 63, of no fixed address but from Perthshire, Scotland, and Jeremy Laxton, 62, from Lincolnshire, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, February 9.
Addis has been charged with conspiracy to distribute or show indecent images of children. He was arrested in November 2021.
Laxton has been 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).
Both Addis and Laxton left the police force more than 10 years ago.
The alleged offences took place between January 1, 2018 and September 20, 2021.
Commander Jon Savell said: "Chief Inspector Watkinson was facing extremely serious and concerning charges, as the result of a painstaking and thorough police investigation.
"Before this matter came to light, we had no previous information about these allegations or to indicate the officer posed any risk to the public.
"He had not faced any other criminal or conduct matters during his Met career.
"He had been suspended from duty since his arrest.
"Two other men were also arrested during the course of the investigation and have been charged, their matters will now progress through the courts."