Mina Smallman: who is UK’s first Black Archdeacon, and who murdered daughters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman?
Ahead of her Two Daughters documentary, Mina Smallman has told the police that it is ‘too late for apologies’ over the mishandling of the murder of her daughters
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Tonight, BBC Two will air Two Daughters, a documentary about the murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, the daughters of Mina Smallman.
It has been almost two years since her daughters were murdered in a London park, and ahead of the documentary Ms Smallman has said that it is “too late for apologies” for the multiple police failings that occurred in the wake of her daughters’ murder in an interview with the Guardian.
These failings include the mishandling of the initial missing persons reports by friends and family, and the actions of the two Metropolitan officers who shared selfies with the murdered women’s bodies, referring to them as “dead birds”.
Who is Mina Smallman?
Ms Smallman, born Wilhelmina Tokcumboh "Mina" Smallman on 29 October 1959, is a British retired Anglican priest and former school teacher. She is notably the Church of England’s first Black Archdeacon.
An Archdeacon is a senior position within the church and is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church as “a cleric having a defined administrative authority delegated to [them] by the bishop in the whole or part of the diocese”.
Ms Smallman served as the Archdeacon of Southend in the Diocese of Chelmsford from September 2013 up until her retirement in December 2016.
She originally studied Drama, English and Voice at the Central School of Speech and Drama, from which she graduated with a BEd degree in 1988. Ms Smallman went on to work as a drama teacher for 15 years and in 2005, she was an assistant principal of John Kelly Girls’ Technology College.
Ms Smallman trained for her ordination on the North Thames Ministerial Training Course and was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 2006. She was then ordained as a priest the following year.
Prior to her Archdeacon’s appointment, Ms Smallman was Team Vicar in Barking from 2010 to 2013.
She has been married to her husband Christopher since 1992, and has had three daughters.
What happened to her daughters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman?
On 6 June 2020, two of Ms Smallman’s daughters, Bibaa Henry, aged 46, and Nicole Smallman, aged 27, were stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park, north-west London.
Their family reported the sisters missing on 6 June 2020, when the UK was in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The police have been criticised for the way the case of the sisters was handled, especially given how little interest there was in finding them in the first 36 hours.
Bibaa and Nicole’s bodies were discovered during a search conducted by their family, rather than the police, by Nicole’s boyfriend Adam Stone. After the women were found, Metropolitan Police officers then searched the area for evidence.
Last year, when talking in an interview about Sarah Everard’s death, when asked if she believed her daughters’ race meant that there was “no urgency” in searching for them after they were reported missing, Ms Smallman said: “Oh absolutely, I’m convinced.
“I think the notion of “all people matter” is absolutely right, but it’s not true.”
She continued on to say that the “specific situation of my girls and Sarah” shows that they “didn’t get the same support, the same outcry”.
The sisters and their friends had been celebrating Bibaa’s birthday in the park on Friday 5 June and it was in the early hours of Saturday morning that they were murdered. CCTV footage later shared in court captured the two making their way to the birthday picnic.
Who killed them?
The sisters were murdered by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein after he used his own blood to sign a pact with the mythical demon King Lucifuge Rofocale.
In a “campaign of vengeance”, the Old Bailey heard, Hussein pledged to kill six women every six months in order to win the Mega Millions Super Jackpot of £321 million and carry on killing women as long as he was able.
The note, which was read in court, said: “Agreement for the Lucifuge Rofocale.
“Perform a minimum of six sacrifices every six months for as long as I am free and physically capable.
“Sacrifice only women. Build a temple for you. Do everything that I have promised.
“For me, win the Mega Millions Super Jackpot, to receive fruitful rewards in return for the future sacrifices I make to you.
“The rewards could consist of wealth and power. To never be suspected of any crimes by the police and also that the police will never know of any crimes that I have done and that I will do.
“Signed by, Me Danyal.”
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC told jurors: “His plan could not be clearer – to sacrifice women in exchange for personal profit and never be suspected of having done anything wrong.”
In another sinister note, he offered blood to ‘demon Queen Byleth’ to make a girl at his school fall in love with him.
His killing spree was ultimately cut short after he cut himself during the attack on the sisters, which allowed the police to track him through DNA testing. The day after the killing, Hussein went to hospital with cuts to his hand from a knife, claiming he had been attacked by a group of boys.
Hussein first came to the attention of police aged just 15 over fears he was vulnerable to radicalisation and violent extremism.
He had been on a de-radicalisation programme between October 2017 and May 2018 after being referred to the Prevent scheme by his school.
Following his arrest, Hussein told police he had Asperger’s syndrome and trouble with his memory, then refused to answer questions.
Searches of his bedroom at his mother’s house in south-east London uncovered a book of spells, handwritten demon symbols and the two blood pacts.
Hussein was charged for the murders of the two sisters on 2 July 2020 and on 6 July 2021, he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years after being found guilty of two counts of murder and possession of a knife.
Why were two police officers charged with misconduct?
PC Deniz Jaffer, 48, and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, were charged with misconduct in the month following the murder of Bibaa and Nicole for taking selfies next to their dead bodies and sharing the photos.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an inquiry into the actions of the police officers and, after it was discovered that the images had been shared in a WhatsApp group, six further officers were investigated for failing to challenge or report the behaviour.
At the time, Ms Smallman said: “This has taken our grief to another place.
“If we ever needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs of dead Black girls and send them on.
“It speaks volumes of the ethos that runs through the Metropolitan Police.”
The pair were jailed for two years and nine months at a hearing at the Old Bailey in December 2021 after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office.
Judge Lucraft said: “The public expects, and rightly so, the highest of standards from police officers.
“I am sure there will be many thousands of officers in police forces in this country and abroad utterly horrified by your actions.
“It is appalling and inexplicable conduct.
“Here, the two of you not only violated the police cordon, with the effect that had on the scene and on the investigation, but then wholly disregarded the privacy of the two victims of horrific violence and their families for what can only have been some cheap thrill, kudos, a kick or some form of bragging right by taking images and then passing them to others.”
What is Two Daughters documentary?
The documentary Two Daughters tells the story of Bibaa and Nicole.
It’s presented by Stacey Dooley, who visits Smallman and together they look back on the trial of her daughters’ killer.
Two Daughters also looks at the trials of Jaffer and Lewis.
The official synopsis for the one hour long film says: "Mina’s faith is central to her very being, but what happens when faith is confronted by unimaginable tragedy?
"Stacey witnesses how Mina’s faith has played a pivotal role throughout an unimaginably difficult time, helping her to cope with her grief and anger and strengthen her resolve to fight to end violence against women so her daughters did not die in vain."
The one-off documentary airs tonight, on Sunday 29 May, at 9pm on BBC Two. If you don’t catch it live on TV, you’ll be able to watch it on the BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.