A pair of police officers who took and shared twisted pictures of two murdered sisters have been jailed for two years and nine months.
PC Deniz Jaffer and his colleague PC Jamie Lewis photographed Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman’s bodies while they were guarding the murder scene in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, London.
A Metropolitan Police misconduct hearing heard how they referred to Ms Henry, 46, and Ms Smallman, 27, as “dead birds” in sickening WhatsApp messages.
The sisters were killed by satanist Danyal Hussein, 19, who was jailed for life for the murders in October.
PCs Jaffer and Lewis breached the cordon to take “inappropriate” and “unauthorised” photographs of the sisters’ bodies, which were then shared on WhatsApp.
Judge Mark Lucraft told the court this afternoon that “immediate imprisonment” was the only possible sentence he could pass for the pair’s “appalling and inexplicable” conduct.
He recognised the cops had displayed remorse- but said their actions and the context of the messages were “utterly distasteful” and had undermined public trust in the police, MyLondon reports.
Lewis took his first picture of the bodies at 4.36am and deleted it at 9.45am the following morning, MyLondon reports.
He captured a second image at 5.10am, showing the bodies of the victims lying intertwined.
The constable then took a screenshot of the picture and ‘superimposed’ his own face in front of the bodies.
He sent the doctored image to Jaffer, who forwarded it to a female officer at the scene.
Jaffer went on to show images to two other officers, including a female probationary officer he was supposed to be mentoring at Forest Gate police station, who was “shocked” and “disgusted”.
In a victim impact statement shared in the Old Bailey on Monday, the murdered sisters’ mother Mina Smallman said she was ‘disgusted’ by the actions of the officers.
She described the behaviour as a “betrayal of catastrophic proportions” and a “sacrilegious act”, describing the messages as “pure misogyny”.
She said: “We were horrified, I’ve never heard of anything so macabre. What kind of people are they?”
“Those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, they felt they would take photos of our murdered daughters. Those officers dehumanised our children.
“If it had not been for an anonymous tip-off to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) we would never have known.”
On June 19 last year, the police watchdog received an anonymous “tip-off” about Lewis.
As a result of information he provided, Jaffer was also arrested three days later.
When his wife asked why he was being arrested, Jaffer said it was about a photograph he had taken and “nothing done intentionally”.
An examination of the officers’ phones revealed that the inappropriate images had been shared on WhatsApp.
During the sentencing hearing today, Jaffer’s defence lawyer Neil Saunders said the officer “wholeheartedly apologised” for his actions.
Mr Saunders added: “He acknowledges he cannot right this wrong, he failed to recognise the pain and suffering that could be caused if exactly this came about.”
Prosecutor Joel Smith said Jaffer referred to the victims as “dead birds” in the “covid c****” WhatsApp group chat.
He shared an article about the discovery of the bodies and said: “I’m here now, will try to take pictures of the two dead birds.”
He took four photographs on his personal mobile phone while he was positioned on the cordon.
Lewis, who used “degrading and sexist” language, also shared crime scene pictures with a WhatsApp group of 40-plus officers called the “A Team”.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Mark Lucraft told the court the public had been let down by the actions of Lewis and Jaffer.
He 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.
“Not only did you violate the privacy of the two women who had been killed, but you also have undermined the trust and faith in police officers the public should be able to expect at times such as these.
“It is clear that the two of you acted without any thought as to the effect on the two women, their families or the wider public interest.”
The pair, who were attached to the Met’s North East command unit, were suspended from duty following their arrests on June 22 last year.
Jaffer, 47, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, 33, from Colchester, Essex, pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.
Lewis was previously dismissed from the Metropolitan Police and Jaffer would have been sacked too, had he not already quit the force.
The victims’ mum Mina Smallman previously called on the Met to “get the rot out once and for all”.
She said: “You need to drill down and get the rot out once and for all. You are not above the law, you are not going to be protected.”
Asked if the Met Commissioner should resign, she said: “Kicking people out does not fix the problem. Keep her in the position and get her to do the job.”
She criticised the Met chief for her “shoddy” response to her officers’ actions, saying: “It’s now time for them to take the can for it.”
Following the guilty pleas, Dame Cressida issued a further apology to the family.
Ross Lydall/The Evening Standard)
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She said: “What former Pc Jaffer and Pc Lewis chose to do that day was utterly unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive. I know that is the view of colleagues across the Met who utterly condemn this behaviour.”
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem called for change within the force, saying the officers’ behaviour was not a one-off.
Their actions were “sickening” and they treated the crime scene with “contempt and disrespect”, in turn insulting the victims and their family, he said.
It comes as an IOPC investigation revealed a “canteen culture online” with officers sharing misogynistic, racist, homophobic content and jokes about the victims of crime on WhatsApp.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.