A police officer who called another officer a “n****r”, a “mongrel” and a “spade” almost escaped without charge, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has admitted.

Croydon PC Tom Phillips was jailed last week for a “campaign” of abusive text messages sent to his police officer ex-girlfriend Samantha Ryan, racially abusing her new boyfriend.

In one, he wrote: “He’s black. Why wouldn’t he be a thief?”

But when Ms Ryan reported the messages, sent in spring 2021, the CPS marked the case for “no further action”.

The decision was only reversed under the Victim’s Right to Review (VRR) scheme, the CPS has acknowledged.

“Following a VRR in the case of Thomas Phillips, the CPS conducted an independent review and the decision not to prosecute was overturned,” a spokesperson said.

“Five charges were then authorised.”

Phillips worked in the Met Police's intelligence department, in "Covert Tasking and Support".

He regularly posed for photographs for the Met's Shirley South Twitter page.

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Croydon cop called Asian colleague a "n****r" and a "mongrel" in text rants

The initial decision not to proceed was revealed by Phillips’s lawyer, Colin Banham, during his sentencing hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 25.

Prosecutor Louise Oakley and Mr Phillips’s victims had told the court that he had continued to exert control over Ms Ryan by denying his crimes.

He falsely accused Ms Ryan and her new partner, fellow police officer Danny Gobin, of fabricating the messages to frame him.

He only changed his plea to guilty as his trial neared, admitting five counts of sending a grossly offensive/obscene/inappropriate message using a public communication network.

But Mr Banham told the court Phillips was not entirely to blame for the delay in justice, as the allegations had initially been marked “NFA”.

The CPS would not explain why the initial decision was taken not to prosecute.

Catch up:

Racist Croydon cop only resigned days before being jailed

Despite Mr Banham’s comments, Judge Louisa Cieciora found the main reason for delays in the case was Phillips’s denials and attempts to shift the blame onto others.

She added that Phillips had racist and misogynistic beliefs, telling him: “An appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody… I’m not persuaded that there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”

The Met Police called Phillips’s behaviour “completely unacceptable” and said a misconduct hearing would be held “at the earliest opportunity”.

Phillips did not resign from the Met Police until ten days before his sentencing, weeks after he pleaded guilty.