Ex-Met officers jailed over taking pictures of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman lose appeal

PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis’s barristers said the pair had both been attacked in prison.

Two former Met Police officers who took photographs of the murdered bodies of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman have lost their appeals against their sentences.

Former PCs Deniz Jaffer, 48, and Jamie Lewis, 33, were guarding the crime scene at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, in June 2020, where the two women were found.

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PC Deniz Jaffer, 47, (left) and PC Jamie Lewis, 33, (right) took photographs of the murdered bodies of sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman

While at the park, the men left their posts to take photos of the sisters.

Appeal judges Dame Victoria Sharp, Mrs Justice McGowan and Mrs Justice Farbey dismissed the appeals after considering arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

They said they will give their reasons at a later date.

Neil Saunders, representing Jaffer, said the sentence had been “manifestly excessive” and that the Recorder of London Mark Lucraft QC, who sentenced the officers, had given too much weight to the gravity of the breach of public trust.

He also said that not enough weight was given to Jaffer’s personal mitigating circumstances and the risk he faces from other prisoners being a police officer.

This was the last photo Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman took before they were murdered. Two Metropolitan Police officers admitted sharing photos of the bodies of two murdered sisters on WhatsApp. Credit: SWNS

He told the Court of Appeal: “As an ex-police officer he is obviously the target of other inmates.

“He has been attacked three times since his incarceration, one in which three inmates beat him. These issues should be taken into account.

“It simply cannot be right that the man be incarcerated and then have to look over his shoulder to see where the next blow is coming from.”

Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, who were stabbed to death by Danyal Hussein at a park in London. Credit: SWNS

Mr Saunders also asked President of the Queen’s Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp to consider the impact of Jaffer’s prison sentence on his wife, who suffers from fibromyalgia and is unable to work full time.

He continued: “The defendant himself suffers from a pars defect, which involves a broken bone in the back for which he needs an operation.

“In fact he was suffering from stress and anxiety before this offence. It is a feature for both and his wife, they were on serious medication before this offence.”

Luke Ponte, representing Lewis, said there was an “asymmetry” between what he described as the officer’s “spontaneous” act and the sentence he received.

He said; “The essence of this application is that this was a very difficult sentence exercise and the learned judge did not quite get that difficult balance right.

“There was little by way of guidance for the Recorder of London and no specific sentencing guidelines.”

Mr Ponte also said there was a failure to reflect Lewis’s personal mitigation, in particular his remorse and position as a police officer in prison.

“Mr Lewis has also been assaulted twice during the course of his imprisonment.”

Both men appeared by video link from custody. Jaffer wore a dark blue t-shirt while Lewis wore a grey jumper. They sat with their fingers against their lips for the duration of the hearing.

Danyal Hussein

He was found guilty of two counts of murder and possession of an offensive weapon and was jailed for 35 years in October.

Jaffer and Lewis, suspended from duty, were arrested on June 22, 2020 when the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog investigated allegations they took “non-official and inappropriate photographs” of the crime scene.

The pair had admitted to misconduct by entering a crime scene they had been assigned to protect, telling members of the public about being at the crime scene, taking photographs of the crime scene and showing pictures of the crime scene to other officers.

Joel Smith, representing the Crown, said Jaffa and Lewis had tarnished the dignity of the victims and their families.

He said: “The offending to which these offenders pleaded guilty went beyond mere stupidity. It was not inappropriately criminal, it was pernicious.

“The officers knew what they were doing was wrong. In this case, these were police officers so the breach of trust immediately is significant.

“Secondly, the Recorder of London was entitled to consider the overarching undermining of confidence in the police but also the specific trust placed in these officers.

“A senior officer had put them in place to protect the scene and had trusted them to protect the victims’ dignity.”

Mr Smith also said that by taking photographs, the officers risked contaminating the crime scene and they also gave the defendant in that trial the opportunity to claim that the scene had been compromised.

He said: “Fortunately he failed.

“There had been a double murder of, and this is no exaggeration, such a shocking and ferocious nature that it rightly attracted considerable public outcry.”

Jaffa, of Hornchurch, east London and Lewis, of Colchester, pleaded guilty to misconduct in office in December last year.