Met Police officers who admitted taking and sharing photographs of two murdered sisters they were supposed to guard whinged ‘Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds’.
PC Jamie Lewis, 33, made the appalling WhatsApp comment as he and PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, were meant to be keeping the cordon protecting Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry’s bodies secure.
Jaffer also took to the social media messaging app to declare “I’m here now I’ll try to take pictures of the dead birds”, a police misconduct panel heard.
Both of them have previously admitted taking and sharing photographs of the women and are due to be sentenced on December 6.
Today they are before police misconduct allegations at the Met’s Empress Building in west London.
The BBC reports the panel, chaired by Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, heard Jaffer resigned as a police officer on 18 August 2021.
The hearing was told both officers left the cordon they were told to guard and took pictures of the bodies of the fatally wounded sisters.
PC Jaffer and Lewis were supposed to protect the scene after the sisters were found stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London.
Unmasked: PC Jaffer, 47, was charged with misconduct in a public office over the pictures
Pc Jamie Lewis leaves the Old Bailey, after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office
The sisters (above), who had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday with friends, were found the following day by Ms Smallman’s boyfriend
But instead, they breached the cordon to take ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unauthorised’ photographs of the bodies, which were then sent ‘to a dentist and doctor’, and a WhatsApp group.
Jaffer took four photographs and Lewis took two – one of which was sent to a female colleague with Lewis’s face superimposed onto it.
Police watchdog the IOPC later revealed Lewis also used ‘degrading and sexist language’ to describe the victims in the WhatsApp team group of 42 colleagues.
Earlier this month Dame Cressida Dick apologised for the second time over the incident.
But Ms Henry and Ms Smallman’s bereft mother Mina slammed the Met Commissioner for the botched investigation into her daughters’ deaths.
She criticised, ‘Her shoddy way of behaving and her response since all of this has come out’ adding: ‘She has not contacted us to say I am really sorry. She has not spoken into this story at all.
Ms Smallman said the Met was ‘beyond hope’, adding: ‘You go to London to start to prepare the funeral of your dead children and are told 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.’
Following their guilty pleas, the Met said it was taking ‘immediate steps’ to put former PC Jaffer, who has resigned from the force, and PC Lewis before accelerated misconduct hearings.
Artist impression of PC Jamie Lewis and PC Deniz Jaffer appearing at the Old Bailey this month
Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, who were stabbed to death in Wembley last year
Murderer: Danyal Hussein, 19, who killed sisters Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, seen here in his police mugshot
Met Commissioner Dick said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘They have pleaded guilty today to a serious criminal offence and sentencing will follow in due course.
‘I apologised to Bibaa and Nicole’s family in June last year and, on behalf of the Met, I apologise again today.
‘Now that the judicial process has got to this stage, we are able to take the officers through an accelerated misconduct process.’
Jaffer, 47, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, 33, from Colchester, Essex, had been arrested as part of a criminal investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog.
The charge against each of them stated that ‘without authorisation he entered a crime scene he had been assigned to protect, sending information about his attendance at the scene to members of the public via WhatsApp and taking photographs of the crime scene’.
The sisters’ mother Mina Smallman, who has described the officers as ‘despicable’, sat in court for the hearing.
Paul Goddard, from the CPS, said outside court: ‘Pc Jamie Lewis and Pc Deniz Jaffer’s senseless conduct fell way below that to be expected from police officers.
Mina Smallman, mother of the two victims looking on as Danyal Hussein appears in the dock at the Old Bailey, where he would try to intimidate and provoke her. She refused and would smile and wink back
‘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. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.’
The pair, attached to the Met’s North East command unit, were both suspended from duty following their arrests on June 22 last year.
Jaffer, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, from Colchester, Essex, are on unconditional bail.