Two Metropolitan Police officers have admitted taking and sharing photographs of the bodies of two sisters who were murdered in north-west London.
PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, distributed the images of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman after their deaths in Fryent Country Park.
They breached a cordon to take “inappropriate” pictures of the bodies, which were then shared on WhatsApp.
Both officers admitted misconduct in a public office.
Speaking after the Old Bailey hearing, the sisters’ mother Mina Smallman said: “It may sound really ridiculous that this case has brought us to even more anxiety today. It’s the most nervous I’ve felt doing any interview, and I think because it was the final straw.”
Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick called the actions of her officers “utterly unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive.”
She said: “Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Bibaa and Nicole.
“I deeply regret that at a time when they were grieving the loss of their loved ones who were taken in such awful circumstances, they faced additional distress caused by the actions of two police officers.
“I apologised to Bibaa and Nicole’s family in June last year and, on behalf of the Met, I apologise again today.”
Dame Cressida said the two officers would face “an accelerated misconduct process” to decide if they can keep their jobs.
Jaffer took four photographs and Lewis took two, the court heard.
An investigation found that while on duty manning a cordon in the Wembley park on 8 June 2020, the pair left their posts and approached the sisters’ bodies – risking contamination of the crime scene – to take the photographs.
Lewis, from Colchester, edited one of the pictures by superimposing his own face on to the photograph with the victims in the background.
He sent that image to Jaffer, from Hornchurch in east London, who then forwarded it unsolicited to a female officer also present at the scene, the court heard.
Ms Smallman, who has condemned the officers as “Despicable 1 and Despicable 2”, was in court for the hearing, where Judge Mark Lucraft QC granted Jaffer and Lewis conditional bail ahead of sentencing.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “You know you go to London to start to prepare the funeral of your dead children and then you’re forced to have a meeting with the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct), and the then commander, to tell you that police officers that should have been protecting the area had actually taken selfies and sent them out to a dentist and a doctor and a WhatsApp group.
“There’s details of this whole incident that we cannot share with you, but they will come out in time.”
She added that she wanted to thank the IOPC and one of its staff in particular, who she said had been “horrified and almost in tears” when he informed her about what had happened.
Judge Lucraft, who will be sentencing Jaffer and Lewis next month, warned 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.”
The constables were suspended from duty following their arrests on 22 June last year.
Last week, Danyal Hussein, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering Ms Henry and 27-year-old Ms Smallman.
The sisters had been celebrating Ms Henry’s 46th birthday when they were repeatedly stabbed by Hussein, from Blackheath in south-east London.
A search of his bedroom revealed he had made an apparent blood pact with a demon to “sacrifice” six women in six months in order to win the lottery.
Paul Goddard, from the CPS, said: “PC Jamie Lewis and PC Deniz Jaffer’s senseless conduct fell way below that to be expected from police officers.
“These officers were tasked with protecting a tragic crime scene, but instead they violated it for their own purposes, with no regard to the dignity of the victims, or the harm they might do to a murder investigation.
“Their thoughtless and insensitive actions have no doubt caused immeasurable further distress and pain to the heartbroken family and friends of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry who were already left reeling from the loss of their loved ones.”
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