Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Ex-Met police officers jailed for sharing photos of murdered sisters lose appeal against sentence

Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis argued jail terms of two years and nine months were excessive

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Editor
Wednesday 11 May 2022 14:55 BST
Deniz Jaffer (left) and Jamie Lewis were jailed after sharing crime scene photos of the murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (Victoria Jones/PA)
Deniz Jaffer (left) and Jamie Lewis were jailed after sharing crime scene photos of the murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Two Metropolitan Police officers who took photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman at a crime scene they were protecting have lost appeals against their jail sentences.

Deniz Jaffer, now 48, and Jamie Lewis, now 33, had been constables assigned to guard the scene after the women were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, London, in June 2020.

Jaffer and Lewis were each given jail terms of two years and nine months at a hearing at the Old Bailey in December, after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office.

Appeal judges Dame Victoria Sharp, Mrs Justice McGowan and Mrs Justice Farbey considered arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Wednesday.

They dismissed the pair’s bid to lower their sentences and will give their full legal reasons at a later date. The former officers’ barristers had argued the sentences imposed were excessive.

Neil Saunders, who represented Jaffer, said he has been attacked three times by different inmates while in prison. Luke Ponte, representing Lewis, said he has been assaulted twice.

The constables took photographs after entering the crime scene without authorisation in the early hours of 7 June 2020.

Photos of the victims’ bodies were then shown to other police officers in person, and shared on WhatsApp with colleagues and friends.

Sentencing judge Mark Lucraft QC, the Recorder of London, told Jaffer and Lewis they risked the integrity of the crime scene and “wholly disregarded” the victims’ privacy.

He said they took and shared the photographs “for what could only have been some sort of cheap thrill, kudos, a kick or bragging rights”, and had undermined trust in policing.

“The public expects the highest standards from police officers and I am sure there will be many thousands of police officers utterly horrified by your actions,” Judge Lucraft said. “It is appalling and inexplicable conduct.”

Judge Lucraft said immediate imprisonment was the “only appropriate sentence”.

Two police officers were jailed after sharing WhatsApp images of the bodies of Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

He said that in addition to the photos, the men had made “distasteful” comments about the victims on WhatsApp, and enabled murderer Danyal Hussain to falsely claim that they may have contaminated evidence at the crime scene.

Both men were formally dismissed from the Metropolitan Police and barred from serving as police officers again in the future.

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had received an anonymous “tip-off“ about Lewis and the investigation led to Jaffer’s arrest and the seizure of his phone.

A separate investigation concluded three constables had a case to answer for misconduct as they were either aware of, received or viewed the inappropriate photographs and failed to challenge or report them.

The IOPC also found the level of service provided by the Met over the weekend when the sisters were killed was ”below the standard that it should have been”.

On the evening of 6 June 2020, the sisters’ worried loved ones reported them missing, but officers were not deployed to the park until the next day.

Before they arrived, Ms Smallman’s boyfriend Adam Stone, found the bodies after mounting his own search.

Hussain was handed a life sentence after targeting the sisters after they went to Fryent Country Park to celebrate Ms Henry’s birthday with friends.

The murderer dragged the bodies away and posed them in an embrace to “defile” them in death, a judge said.

The Old Bailey heard he had made a handwritten pledge to a demonic entity called King Lucifuge Rofocale to kill six women every six months, which was signed in blood.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in