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Smallman: I will not hate the man who murdered my daughters

07 July 2021

BBC

The Ven. Wilhelmina (Mina) Smallman speaks to BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday

The Ven. Wilhelmina (Mina) Smallman speaks to BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday

THE mother of two women who were murdered last summer by a 19-year-old man says that she has already forgiven their killer, but warned that he could become radicalised while in prison.

A former Archdeacon of Southend, the Ven. Wilhelmina (Mina) Smallman, was reacting to the guilty verdict reached on Tuesday in the case against Danyal Hussein, for the murders of Bibaa Henry, aged 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, in Fryent Country Park, in north-west London (News, 19 June 2020).

Mrs Smallman spoke about her daughters to the Radio 4 Today programme on Wednesday: “When we hold hatred for someone, it’s not only them who is held captive, it’s you, because your thoughts become consumed by revenge. I refuse to give him that power. He is a nonentity to me.”

Hussein stabbed the two women to death in a random attack in the early hours of 6 June last year. A note found in his grandmother’s house, addressed to a demon and signed in his blood, stated that he planned to kill six women every six months, and in return he expected a lottery win.

The detective who led the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, said: “I firmly believe he would have carried out his contract. He would have carried on killing women, until he had killed the first six. . . He is a very, very dangerous individual.”

Hussein had been referred to the Government’s counter-extremism Prevent programme for researching far-right material when he was 15, but was discharged after a year. Mrs Smallman said: “If this young man does have this tendency, when he goes into prison he is going to be even more radicalised. He’s a killer now; he’ll be a killing machine by the time he comes out. It’s up to those who assess who is due for release how they are watched and monitored.”

The UK’s top counter-terrorism officer, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, has previously said that police needed to understand Satanism and other “ideologies”.

Asked whether her faith had been shaken through the trial, Mrs Smallman said: “No. I have to say, there are times when I’ve felt unable to pray because I’ve just felt so grief-stricken. But every now and then, when I’ve thought, ‘You know, I don’t want to be here,’ I’ve felt a nudge to say, “No, I’m here. Yeah, you can do this.”

METROPOLITAN POLICE/ALAMYBibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman dance in Fryent Country Park, in a photo timed 8.12 p.m. on 5 June 2020, just hours before their death, taken on Ms Henry’s phone, which was shown to the jury at the Old Bailey this week

On 13 July, the trial of two Metropolitan Police officers will continue. They have apologised for taking and sharing photos of the murder scene (News, 3 July). PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis said at their first hearing in May that “they are sorry beyond measure for the pain they have caused,” and their lawyer indicated that both men would plead guilty to the charge of misconduct in public office.

Speaking outside the court on Tuesday, Mrs Smallman praised the Metropolitan Police for the support they had given her family: “I have made no bones about my complaints with the Metropolitan Police office, but today I have to say I can only commend them.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is also investigating how the Met handled the calls from relatives and friends of the women before their bodies were discovered by Nicole Smallman’s boyfriend on 7 June. Mrs Smallman told the BBC that she was considering bringing a case against the force. “What I want to do is make things better so that things that happened to us never happen to anybody else.”

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