Police officers charged with taking murder scene photos ‘sorry beyond measure’

Pair charged with misconduct in public office after sisters’ deaths

<p>Deniz Jaffer, pictured leaving court, is expected to appear at the Old Bailey, together with Jamie Lewis</p>

Deniz Jaffer, pictured leaving court, is expected to appear at the Old Bailey, together with Jamie Lewis

Two Metropolitan Police officers said they were “sorry beyond measure for the pain they have caused” after sharing photographs from the crime scene of two murdered sisters.

PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis had been assigned to protect the scene after Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, northwest London, in the early hours of June 6.

Ms Henry, a social worker from Brent in northwest London, and Ms Smallman, a photographer from nearby Harrow, had met friends the previous evening to celebrate the elder sister’s birthday.

Jaffer, 47, and Lewis, 32, appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, charged with misconduct in a public office between 7 June 7 and 23 June last year.

Their lawyer, Luke Ponte, said they planned to admit the charge. “There’s an indication to be given, and it’s an indication of a guilty plea on behalf of both defendants,” he said.

“They are sorry beyond measure for the pain that they have caused.”

The charge, which was not read out in court, states each officer “misconducted” himself “in a way which amounted to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder by without authorisation, entering a crime scene he had been assigned to protect, sending information about his attendance at the scene to members of the public via WhatsApp and taking photographs of the crime scene.”

The officers will be expected to formally enter pleas when the case goes to the Old Bailey.

Jaffer, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, from Colchester, Essex, were both granted unconditional bail.

The pair were arrested last year as part of a criminal investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog into allegations they took “non-official and inappropriate photographs” of the crime scene before sharing them on WhatsApp.

They were suspended from duty following their arrests and were charged last month.

The watchdog is also carrying out a separate inquiry into how the Met handled calls from worried relatives and friends of missing Ms Smallman and Ms Henry before their bodies were discovered on 7 June.

Danyal Hussein, 19, of Guy Barnett Grove, Blackheath, southeast London, is facing trial at the Old Bailey next month accused of the sisters’ murders.

Additional reporting by PA

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