Two police officers have pleaded guilty to sharing pictures of the bodies of two murdered sisters on WhatsApp.
Pc Deniz Jaffer and Pc Jamie Lewis, who both work for the Metropolitan Police, 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 Wembley, north-west London.
However, they breached the cordon and took “inappropriate” and “unauthorised” photographs of the bodies - which they then shared on the messaging app.
At a glance: 5 key points
- Jaffer took four photographs and Lewis took two and one of the images sent to a female colleague had Lewis’s face superimposed onto it, it can now be reported.
- At a hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (2 November), the officers admitted committing misconduct in a public office between June 7 and June 23 last year.
- Jaffer, 47, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, 33, from Colchester, Essex, had been arrested as part of a criminal investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog.
- The charge against each of them stated that “without authorisation he entered a crime scene he had been assigned to protect, sending information about his attendance at the scene to members of the public via WhatsApp and taking photographs of the crime scene”.
- The pair, who were attached to the Met’s North East command unit, were both suspended from duty following their arrests on June 22 last year.
What’s been said
The sisters’ mother Mina Smallman, who sat in court for the hearing, described the officers as “despicable”.
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.”
Jaffer and Lewis left the Old Bailey without commenting to waiting journalists.
Asked if he would apologise to the family of the sisters, Jaffer nodded.
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.
Hussein had 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 distraught boyfriend, Adam Stone, 35, after he became concerned when she failed to return home to their pet bearded dragon.
As police began the painstaking process of searching the park for forensic evidence, the sisters’ bodies were left in the small copse overnight.
The jury was shown pictures taken by Pc Jaffer early on June 8 of the bodies inside the bushy area where they were found.
Throughout the trial, images of the bodies in situ had been blacked out before being shown in court.
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