Met police officers admit sharing photos of murdered sisters

ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia reports on the latest developments in the case of the two officers who shared pictures of the bodies of two murdered sisters

Two police officers have admitted to sharing photos of two murdered sisters on WhatsApp, after they were instructed to protect the area where the bodies were found.

The officers have been described as "despicable" by the mother of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Both officers, who serve in the Metropolitan Police, admitted to this at a hearing this morning at the Old Bailey.

'There is no such thing as one bad apple,' Mina Smallman said

PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis were tasked with protecting the crime scene at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, after the bodies of sisters Ms Henry and Ms Smallman were found.

However, the officers instead walked onto the crime scene and took “unauthorised” photographs of the bodies. They then shared the photos on WhatsApp.

PC Deniz Jaffer arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for an earlier hearing Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

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.

47-year-old Jaffer, from Hornchurch in east London, and 33-year-old Lewis, from Colchester in Essex were arrested by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog as part of a criminal investigation.

They were charged with entering a crime scene without authorisation and sending information about being at the scene to members of the public via WhatsApp, and taking photos of the crime scene.

Pc Jamie Lewis will be dismissed from the Metropolitan Police immediately Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Both officers, from the Met's North East command unit, were suspended on June 22 last year.

They will be sentenced in December, and have been granted conditional bail. The judge told them they will likely serve custodial sentences for their actions.

Mina Smallman, the mother of the murdered sisters, said if they do not receive time behind bars, it will send the message that they are "above the law".

"What we need is true police serving. It’s not just a job, it’s a pastoral job, it’s a job where human beings should matter to you," she said.

"She hasn’t contacted us to say I’m really sorry... It’s shameful" - Mrs Smallman criticised Cressida Dick's "shoddy" handling of her daughters' case

"At the moment there is no such thing as 'one bad apple'. You’ll know if you have a rotten piece of fruit in a fruit bowl, it contaminates everything around it. 

"So, we need to drill down and get the rot out once and for all."

Mrs Smallman also criticised Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick's "shoddy way of behaving" and said she has not contacted her personally to apologise for her officers' actions.

The mother continued: "You’ll remember she came out about the selfies and said if this is true, it is appalling. Well she knows it's true.

Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (right) were celebrating Ms Henry's birthday at the time of their murder. Credit: PA

"She hasn’t gone on camera, she hasn’t contacted us to say I’m really sorry. She has not spoken into this story at all.

"And it’s shameful. It’s shameful that the IOPC had to tell the Met that they should apologise. Too little too late."

Mrs Smallman also questioned why the government and the Met Police are "taking so long" to protect "women on our streets".

"The IOPC is seriously hampered by the Met Police," claimed Mrs Smallman

Ms Henry, 46, and Ms Smallman, 27, were murdered by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein. Hussein was jailed for life last week and will serve at least 35 years behind bars.

The sisters had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday when they were murdered by Hussein. He then dragged their bodies into nearby bushes. The bodies were found by Ms Smallman's boyfriend 36 hours later.

The jury was shown pictures taken by PC Jaffer early on June 8 of the bodies inside the bushy area where they were found.

The officers, who were assigned to protect the site, arrived at 3.30am and were placed at the inner cordon closest to the bodies. They were told to stay there and protect the crime scene.

But a female colleague - who has not been identified by name - saw them walking backwards and forwards talking to each other.

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman Credit: Met Police/PA

The female colleague - who has been labelled PC 3 - was then approached by the officers. Following this, PC 3 then received a WhatsApp message from Jaffer containing four photos of the bodies. One of the photos had the face of Lewis edited onto it.

These photos were then sent to other people, the court heard.

The bodies would not have been visible from the path next to the bushes so, in order to take the photos, the officers would have had to move from their posts, the court heard.

Mrs Smallman labelled the officers “Despicable 1 and Despicable 2″.

“Our family’s grief was further compounded by the cordon officers who will now be known as Despicable one and two – any inner strength I had reserved had been torn away”, she said.

At an earlier hearing, a lawyer for the two officers apologised on their behalf for the “pain that they have caused”. He suggested they would plead guilty to misconduct.

There has been a separate inquiry into how the Met handled calls from worried relatives and friends of missing Mrs Smallman and Ms Henry before their bodies were discovered on June 7.

The Metropolitan Police apologised for the misconduct but Mrs Smallman has rejected the apology.