Senior Met Police officer facing charges of possession of child abuse images found dead at home

Image of laptop keyboard, gavel, and handcuffs. Credit: ANAHIT GEVORGYAN/

A Met Police chief inspector found dead in his home was facing charges of possessing and distributing child abuse images.


It was revealed today, Monday, January 16, that a senior Met Police officer faced with child pornography charges was found dead at this home last Thursday 12. His body was discovered by colleagues who were concerned about the welfare of 49-year-old chief inspector Richard Watkinson said The Sun.

A source informed the news outlet that Watkinson was due to attend a police station on Thursday where he was expected to be charged with possession of images of child abuse. After a large number of indecent images of children were allegedly found in a secret room at his home 18 months ago, the senior cop was arrested on July 9, 2021.

“He was due to report back on bail on Thursday morning and when he failed to turn up officers went to his home that afternoon and discovered his body”, said the source. An alleged conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children had been uncovered and it is believed that Watkinson was worried that he would be publicly named in connection with that.

“Met officers attended an address in Buckinghamshire on the afternoon of Thursday, 12 January following welfare concerns and found the body of a man in his 40s”, confirmed a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson explained: “Officers were called to Saunderton, Princes Risborough, at just after 3.35pm on Thursday 12 January. Sadly, the body of a man was located inside a property at that location”.

“The man’s death is unexplained but not suspicious. A file will be prepared for the coroner. His next of kin have been made aware and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends”, they added.

Watkinson’s secret was discovered after he had initially been detained over allegations of sending obscene messages, corrupt exercise of police powers, misconduct in public office, and data protection breaches.

This came about as a result of a joint investigation carried out by Met’s professional standards unit and the Independent Office for Police Conduct(IOPC). A subsequent search of Watkinson’s home led to the discovery of a secret trapdoor.

This led to computer equipment being located which allegedly contained images of child abuse said to be in the serious Category A and B bands featuring sexual abuse of children.

Eleven days after this find, Watkinson was further arrested, this time on charges of misconduct in public office, voyeurism, and conspiracy to distribute indecent images of children.

“He was a popular governor and his arrest caused a great deal of shock. There was talk of thousands of images and videos being found behind a trap door in his home”, a former colleague of the cop told the newspaper.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]