Met officers taking ‘inappropriate’ photos of bodies of sisters murdered in Wembley Park facing jail

Two Metropolitan police officers have been warned that they risk long prison terms after pleading guilty to taking and sharing photos of two dead sisters who were brutally murdered in a park in London.

PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, will be convicted next month after admitting they used their phones to take pictures of the bodies of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry.

They also admitted that they superimposed their faces on the photos and shared photos of the scene with other officers via WhatsApp.

Officers admitted the offense during a trial at Old Bailey.

The Recorder of London, Mark Lucraft QC, put the case to reports, but warned both men that they face long prison sentences when they are sentenced next month.

He said: “These cases are extremely serious and you should not have any illusions that you are highly likely to receive custodial sentences and custodial sentences of a certain length.”

Mina Smallman, mother of the two women, who is a Church of England Archdeacon, was in court with other members of the family to hear the guilty objections.

The two officers had been given the task of protecting the scene where Miss Stallman, 27, and Miss Henry, 46, had been stabbed to death by a teenager in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London, in June last year.

The sisters had celebrated one of their birthdays when they were attacked by the satanic obsessed teenager, Danyal Hussein.

But an investigation showed that the officers left their posts and approached the bodies of the murdered women – with the risk of contamination of the crime scene.

They then used their cell phones to take pictures of the victims.

Lewis edited one of the images by superimposing his own face on the photograph with the victims in the background.

He sent the resulting image to Jaffer, who then passed it on unsolicited to a female officer who was also present at the scene.

Lewis also shared photos he had taken at the crime scene that did not show the victims with a WhatsApp group of more than 40 police officers.

Jaffer showed one of the photos of the victims to a male officer as they left the park, and also sent photos of the victims to three friends via WhatsApp.

The Recorder of London, Mark Lucraft QC, put the case to reports, but warned both men that they face long prison sentences when they are sentenced next month.

He said: “These cases are extremely serious and you should not have any illusions that you are highly likely to receive custodial sentences and custodial sentences of a certain length.”

Paul Goddard, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “PC Jamie Lewis and PC Deniz Jaffer’s senseless behavior fell far short of what one would expect from police officers.

“These officers were tasked with protecting a tragic crime scene, but instead violated it for their own purposes, disregarding the dignity of the victims or the damage they had to do in a murder investigation.

“Their thoughtless and insensitive actions have undoubtedly caused immense additional distress and pain to the heartbroken family and friends of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, who were already left behind after the loss of their loved ones. Our thoughts are with them very much in this time.”

Officers were arrested on June 22 last year when the Independent Police Conduct Office (IOPC) launched an investigation into allegations that “unofficial and inappropriate photographs” of the crime scene had been taken and shared.

Jaffer and Lewis, who were attached to the Met’s North East Command unit, were suspended from service and charged with misconduct in public office in April.

Last month, Hussein, 19, was jailed for life at least 35 years after being convicted of the murders of the two women.

During the trial, it emerged that he was obsessed with Satanism and had left a note in which he had promised to “perform a minimum of six victims every six months” and “only women victims”.

The Met has since apologized to the victims’ families for failure in the way it initially handled the report of missing persons, leaving their loved ones to set up their own search team.

Last week, the IOPC criticized Scotland Yards’ handling of the case, and Dame Cressida Dick, Met’s commissioner, admitted that her force’s response “reinforced the distress felt by their loved ones”.

She added: “I am very sorry that the level of service we provided fell short. We have contacted the family to ask if they would allow me or, if they prefer, another senior officer to visit them at a time that is right to apologize in person. “

But Mrs Smallman dismissed the apology as too late, saying Mets’ actions indicated signs of “racial profiling, misogyny or classicism”, adding that Dame Cressida’s “job was essentially to protect the brand”.

In response to today’s guilty charges, she called on the Metropolitan Police to “get the council out once and for all”.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, she said, “You have to drill down and get the riddles out once and for all.

“You are not above the law, you will not be protected.”

Asked if Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick should resign, Mrs Smallman said: “I have always said that I do not think it is the right thing to do.

“Kicking people out does not solve the problem. Keep her in position and get her to do the job.”

But she criticized Dame Cressida for her “shocking way of behaving and her response since all this has come out”.

Mrs Smallman told reporters: “She has not contacted us to say I’m really sorry. She has not spoken into this story at all.

“And it is a shame that the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) had to tell the Met that they should apologize to us in their mistake for the missing persons (investigation).

“Too little too late. Too little too late.

“When I was in a leadership position if my organization or department failed, it was up to me.

“I had to take the can for it. Well, now’s the time for them to take the can for it. They are beyond hope.”

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