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Smallman: Officers who photographed my daughters are despicable

05 November 2021

Alamy

The Ven. Mina Smallman speaks outside the Old Bailey, on Tuesday, alongside her husband, Christopher

The Ven. Mina Smallman speaks outside the Old Bailey, on Tuesday, alongside her husband, Christopher

A FORMER Archdeacon of Southend has said that the Metropolitan Police Service needed to “get the rot out once and for all”, after two of its officers admitted making and sharing photographs of her two murdered daughters in June 2020 (News, 29 October).

PC Deniz Jaffer, aged 47, and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, both admitted misconduct in public office at the Old Bailey on Tuesday. They have been warned that they face custodial sentences. The Ven. Wilhelmina (Mina) Smallman, whose daughters were killed last year, has nicknamed the officers “Despicable 1” and “Despicable 2”.

The court heard that the officers had been sent to guard the crime scene where the bodies of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, had been found in Fryent Country Park, north-west London.

But they breached a cordon and took “inappropriate” pictures of the bodies. PC Jaffer took four photos and sent them to Lewis, who also took two, the court heard. PC Lewis edited one of Jaffer’s pictures, superimposing his face on to the photo, with the victims visible in the background. He sent the edited image to Jaffer, who forwarded it unsolicited to a female officer.

An investigation by the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, published on Tuesday, noted that PC Lewis “used degrading and sexist language to describe the victims” to a WhatsApp group of 42 colleagues, and that Jaffer shared photos that he took of the sisters with three members of the public, as well as the two police colleagues.

After the hearing, Mrs Smallman criticised the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick for her “shoddy” handling of the case, and called for bad police officers to be exposed, charged, and forced out. “We need to drill down and get the rot out once and for all,” she said.

Mrs Smallman described the officers’ actions as “the final straw” after the murder of her daughters. “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,” she said.

She added: “There’s details of this whole incident that we cannot share with you, but they will come out in time.”

The women’s funeral was conducted by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, then the only black bishop in the House of Bishops.

Dame Cressida apologised to the sisters’ family for a second time on Tuesday, and pledged that Deniz and Jaffer would undergo an “accelerated” misconduct process.

The pair were suspended after their arrests on 22 June last year, and Jaffer has since resigned. At a hearing in May, they said that they were “sorry beyond measure”.

On Thursday of last week, Danyal Hussein, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering Ms Henry and Ms Smallman. Mrs Smallman said that justice had been done. “Come 35 years’ time . . . I won’t let them let him out.”

An IOPC report published last week criticised the Metropolitan Police for failings in its response when the sisters first went missing.

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