People are outraged after two Metropolitan Police officers admitted to taking and sharing photos of the bodies of two murdered sisters, Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry at their crime scene.
Appearing at the Old Bailey today, Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis confirmed they had taken photos of the pair who were murdered in north-west London in June, while on duty, and distributed them to others, including by showing them to another male officer, with Lewis sharing further photos of the crime scene without the bodies in a WhatsApp group of over 40 officers.
Henry and Smallman were murdered by 18-year-old Danyal Hussein, who believed he was fulfilling a Satanic pact by “sacrificing” women in exchange for a lottery win. Last week, he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for the crimes. Meanwhile, the officers were suspended from duty following the incident.
Today, pleading guilty of misconduct in public office, the court heard that the police officers breached a cordon to enter the crime scene. Jaffer took four photographs while Lewis took two. In one photo, Lewis superimposed his face on one of the photos. They also risked contaminating the crime scene by their actions, the court heard.
Reacting to the news, people expressed their shock and disgust.
Paul Goddard, from the CPS, said: “PC Jamie Lewis and PC Deniz Jaffer’s senseless conduct fell way below that to be expected from police officers.
“These officers were tasked with protecting a tragic crime scene, but instead they violated it for their own purposes, with no regard to the dignity of the victims, or the harm they might do to a murder investigation.
“Their thoughtless and insensitive actions have no doubt caused immeasurable further distress and pain to the heartbroken family and friends of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry who were already left reeling from the loss of their loved ones.”
Speaking outside the court, the sisters’ mother Mina Smallman said: “It may sound really ridiculous that this case has brought us to even more anxiety today. It’s the most nervous I’ve felt doing any interview, and I think because it was the final straw.”
Speaking to inews she added that Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida hadn’t contacted her to apologise for the incident and that there is “no such thing as a bad apple”.
She said: “If these police officers do not get a custodial sentence it will not send the message. You are not above the law. You are not going to be protected.”
Dick called the actions of her officers “utterly unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive.”
She said: “Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Bibaa and Nicole.
“I deeply regret that at a time when they were grieving the loss of their loved ones who were taken in such awful circumstances, they faced additional distress caused by the actions of two police officers.
“I apologised to Bibaa and Nicole’s family in June last year and, on behalf of the Met, I apologise again today.”
She said the two officers would face “an accelerated misconduct process” to decide if they can keep their jobs.
People also reacted to the news on social media:
Inhumane Met Cops Jamie Lewis & Deniz Jaffer have pleaded guilty to sharing images of Bibaa Henry & Nicole Smallman… https://t.co/J92N7pZshf