Met Officers Guilty of Misconduct at Murder Scene
TEHRAN (FNA)- Two Metropolitan police officers who shared photos of two murdered sisters and referred to them as “dead birds” have been found guilty of gross misconduct.
PC Jamie Lewis, 33, will be instantly dismissed from the force, while former PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, had already resigned, The Guardian reported.
They were posted to guard the scene where the bodies of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were discovered in June 2020 after they had been stabbed to death by a teenager obsessed with Satan.
A Met discipline tribunal on Wednesday upheld the case against the two men after a short hearing. It followed a criminal trial where the two pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after the Guardian revealed last year the scandal that rocked Britain’s largest force. Both men will be sentenced next month and face jail.
The officers were posted to guard the cordon after the bodies were found in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London, in the early hours of June 8. Photos were shared on WhatsApp, with both former officers using the derogatory terms “dead birds”.
The tribunal was told Lewis sent a picture message of the dead women in a police WhatsApp group shortly before 4 am, writing, “Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds.”
Jaffer used the offensive term “two dead birds” in a later WhatsApp message group, which included members of the public.
Lewis then sent a “selfie style” photo of himself superimposed, with the victims visible in the background, to Jaffer. Both officers failed to report each others’ criminal conduct.
The hearing was chaired by the assistant commissioner Helen Ball, who condemned the two men.
“I’m sorry that our officers behaved in such a hurtful, disrespectful and criminal way. Their actions are shameful,” she stated.
Ball added the public “could not have confidence in the Met” if the force did not take their convictions and their behaviour seriously. She said their former police colleagues were “appalled by what they had done”.
In another message Jaffer also used a racist term for Asians, and when Lewis received a separate message containing the same term he did not object.
Jaffer, of Hornchurch in east London, and Lewis, from Colchester in Essex, are scheduled to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 6.
Danyal Hussein, now 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering Henry and Smallman.
The criminal case heard Jaffer left the post he had been assigned to and went into bushes where the women had been left by their killer. The officer took out a mobile phone and took pictures of the bodies.
He sent four images to Lewis, who edited one of the photos and superimposed his face on to it with the two murdered women visible in the background. Lewis took other photos from the crime scene, which did not show the victims, and shared them via WhatsApp with a group of more than 40 officers who called themselves the “A-team”.
Henry, a senior social worker, and Smallman, a photographer, had been celebrating the elder sister’s birthday in the park. After the celebration ended, they stayed behind and were attacked. They were reported missing the next day and a search by family and friends led to the partner of one of the sisters finding their bodies.
The Met’s handling of the case has been condemned by the police watchdog and the force has apologised for failings.