11:29 AM November 2, 2021
Two on duty Met Police officers were condemned by a grieving family as “despicable” after admitting they shared photos of the bodies of two murdered sisters on WhatsApp.
PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis risked contamination of the Kingsbury crime scene, breaching the cordon to take six “inappropriate” and “unauthorised” photographs of the bodies which they then shared with friends and colleagues.
They also plead guilty to superimposing Lewis’s face on one of the pictures they shared.
The officers were assigned to protect the scene after sisters Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park in Kingsbury.
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At a hearing at the Old Bailey today (November 2), the officers admitted committing misconduct in a public office between June 7 and June 23 last year.
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Jaffer, 47, of Hornchurch and Lewis, 33, from Essex, had been arrested as part of a criminal investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog.
The pair, who were attached to the Met’s North East command unit serving Newham and Waltham, were both suspended from duty following their arrests on June 22 last year.
– Credit: PA
Judge Mark Lucraft QC granted the defendants conditional bail as he adjourned sentencing for reports until December.
He told them: “These matters are extremely serious and you should be under no illusions when you return for sentence it is extremely likely you will receive custodial sentences, custodial sentences of some length for your conduct.”
Last week, Satanist Danyal Hussein, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering Ms Henry and Ms Smallman.
During Hussein’s trial, Mrs Justice Whipple had banned reporting of details about the behaviour of Jaffer and Lewis, who were referred to only as PC 1 and PC 2.
The jury had heard that the victims had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday when they were viciously stabbed by Hussein who then dragged their bodies into bushes and left them with their limbs entwined in a deliberate act to defile them in death.
Some 36 hours later, the sisters were found by Ms Smallman’s boyfriend, Adam Stone, 35.
The jury was shown pictures taken by PC Jaffer early on June 8 of the bodies inside the bushy area where they were found.
Jurors were told that the images were subsequently circulated by both defendants.
The court heard that the bodies would not have been visible from the path next to the bushes so, in order to take the photos, the officers would have had to move from their posts.
Neither officer was wearing protective clothing that night.
Following their arrest, samples of the officers’ DNA were taken and found not to match any outstanding samples.
Jurors were told their DNA were not compared with the DNA findings at the deposition site as there was no unknown male DNA found in the area.
Blood and DNA from the bodies and surrounding area led investigators to Hussein, who was also caught on CCTV buying the murder weapon and coming and going from the park.
A search of his bedroom revealed he had made a bizarre blood pact with a demon to “sacrifice” six women in six months in order to win the lottery.
Despite the weight of evidence against him, Hussein denied being involved in the killings.
His defence team had called into question the two officers’ actions as they examined whether the incriminating DNA evidence could have been contaminated.
But, in his closing speech, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC rejected any suggestion that the bodies were touched or interfered with in any way by the officers.
The victims’ mother, Mina Smallman, said: “Our family’s grief was further compounded by the cordon officers who will now be known as Despicable 1 and 2 – any inner strength I had reserved had been torn away.”
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At an earlier hearing at magistrates’ court, a lawyer for the two officers apologised on their behalf for the “pain that they have caused”.
The IOPC also concluded a separate inquiry into how the Met handled calls from worried relatives and friends of missing Ms Smallman and Ms Henry before their bodies were discovered on June 7.
Mrs Smallman has dismissed an apology from the Metropolitan Police after the force’s response to their deaths was found by the watchdog to be below standard.
The officers will be sentenced at the same court at a later date.