Police officers sacked for calling murdered sisters ‘two dead birds with stab wounds’

·3 min read
Neither Pc Deniz Jaffer nor Pc Jamie Lewis attended the misconduct hearing, and neither disputed the evidence - Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Neither Pc Deniz Jaffer nor Pc Jamie Lewis attended the misconduct hearing, and neither disputed the evidence - Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Two police officers who took photographs of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and referred to them as “dead birds” in messages, have been dismissed from the force.

Pc Jamie Lewis, 33, and Pc Deniz Jaffer, 47, who are already facing prison sentences over their actions, were found guilty of gross misconduct at a police disciplinary hearing.

Jaffer, 47, had already resigned from the force, but Lewis was dismissed following an accelerated Metropolitan Police tribunal.

It also emerged during the hearing that the pair used racially offensive terms for unrelated social media exchanges.

Neither Lewis nor Jaffer attended the misconduct hearing, and neither disputed the evidence.

Asst Commissioner Helen Ball, who chaired the hearing, concluded that both men had committed gross misconduct.

She said: “This was hurtful, dishonest and unprofessional behaviour of the utmost seriousness. I am sorry that our officers behaved in such a hurtful, disrespectful and criminal way. Their actions are shameful.”

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death while they celebrated a birthday at a north London park in 2020 - Family Handouts/PA Wire
Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were stabbed to death while they celebrated a birthday at a north London park in 2020 - Family Handouts/PA Wire

Earlier this month, the pair pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office after it was revealed that they took photographs of the crime scene and the victims in June last year.

Ms Henry and Ms Smallman were stabbed to death by Danyal Hussein while they celebrated a birthday in Fryent Country Park, north London, in 2020. He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years.

After being assigned to guard the crime scene, the officers admitted using their phones to capture images of the victims’ bodies.

Lewis sent a WhatsApp message which said: “Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds.”

Jaffer is then said to have sent a message in a WhatsApp group saying: “I’m here now I’ll try to take pictures of the dead birds.”

Less than an hour later, Lewis sent a superimposed selfie-style photo of himself with the victims visible in the background to Jaffer.

Racist term used in messages

The hearing was told that Lewis separately “responded with approval” to another officer who stated he was going to be posted to a new location which had fewer Asian people, whom he referred to as “P---s”.

Lewis, who did not use the term himself, replied: “Exactly.”

Jaffer also used the same racially derogatory term in a separate message to a member of the public on another matter.

The tribunal ruled that the two officers breached six established police standards, including confidentiality, and honesty and integrity, as well as authority, respect and courtesy.

Both officers, who were based at the North East Command Unit, will be added to the barred list held by the College of Policing. Those appearing on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies, the Independent Office for Police Conduct or Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

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