Special constable by day, vice madam by night. Nisha Patel-Nasri might have blushed had she heard the paeans of praise from some of London's most senior police officers in the days after her murder.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, led the tributes: "Her death has been a huge loss to the Metropolitan Police Service, which she served so enthusiastically."
At the start of her murder trial, Patel-Nasri's death was, to use a police cliché, an open and shut case: cheating husband organises wife's killing to collect life insurance. But a more complicated, wider tale has unravelled since the convictions of Fadi Nasri, her husband, and his accomplices, Roger Leslie, 37, a drug-dealing fixer, and Jason Jones, 35, who stabbed Patel-Nasri at the couple's home in Wembley and left her dying in the street in May 2006.
Witness statements suggest Patel-Nasri was no stranger to the underground circles her husband moved in. It is claimed she effectively headed up his escort agency, Seventh Heaven, where women on the books, by her husband's own admission, could be hired for sex. And when clients missed a payment, Patel-Nasri, 29, reportedly used her police warrant card to intimidate them.
The sensitivity of the case – her family is adamant her reputation is being unfairly besmirched – has ensured that senior police officers and politicians have preferred to let their concerns be known privately.
An unnamed detective told one newspaper yesterday Patel-Nasri had become unsackable because, as an Asian woman, she was key to the Metropolitan Police's diversity drive. "Politically, she was just too valuable," the source said.
But Police Commander Rod Jarman said: "The memory of a woman is being subjected to attack in an unreasonable and unnecessary way."Reuse content