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British police officers admit sharing photos of murdered sisters online: "Deeply insensitive"

U.K. protests women's safety after brutal murder
U.K. protests women's safety after brutal mur... 03:02

A judge warned two British police officers on Tuesday they faced potentially lengthy jail terms after they admitted sharing crime scene photographs on WhatsApp of two murdered sisters.

The guilty pleas came after another officer with the Metropolitan Police was recently jailed for life for the kidnap, rape and murder of a woman earlier this year.

Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park in Wembley Park, northwest London, last year.

"Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Bibaa and Nicole," Commissioner Cressida Dick said in a statement. "I deeply regret that at a time when they were grieving the loss of their loved ones who were taken in such awful circumstances, they faced additional distress caused by the actions of two police officers."

Dick called the officers' actions "utterly unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive."

Danyal Hussein, 19, was last week sentenced to life in prison for murder after telling the court he had made a pact with "a demon" to kill women.

Officers Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were tasked with protecting the scene, but instead took "inappropriate" and "unauthorized" photographs and shared them on social media.

Jaffer, 47, took four pictures and Lewis, 33, took two, the Central Criminal Court in London was told.

"Lewis edited one of the pictures by superimposing his own face onto the photograph with the victims in the background," said prosecutors. "He sent the resulting image to Jaffer, who then forwarded it unsolicited to a female officer also present at the scene."

They both admitted misconduct in a public office by entering a crime scene without authorization, sending information about their attendance to members of the public and taking photographs of the crime scene.

Judge Mark Lucraft granted the defendants conditional bail and adjourned sentencing until December.

"These matters are extremely serious and you should be under no illusions when you return for sentence it is extremely likely you will receive custodial sentences, custodial sentences of some length for your conduct," he warned them.

The Met has apologized to the victims' family, who accused their investigation of being tarnished by racial bias. Last week, the force said it was sorry "for the way we responded when the sisters were reported missing."

But the women's mother Mina Smallman, a retired Anglican priest, told Channel 4 News: "The time for apologies has long gone."

She has said she believes officers showed a lack of urgency because they looked at one daughter's address and saw her as "a Black woman who lives on a council (public housing) estate."  

Mina Smallman, the mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, speaks outside the Old Bailey in London
Mina Smallman, the mother of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, speaks outside the Old Bailey in London after two Metropolitan Police officers pleaded guilty to sharing photos of the bodies of the two murdered sisters on WhatsApp in London, November 2, 2021. TOM NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Smallman, a 27-year-old freelance photographer, and Henry, a 46-year-old social worker, were killed in June last year as they celebrated Henry's birthday at a late-night picnic.

The women were reported missing by friends and relatives, but police officers failed to properly record and act on the information.

As a result, the sisters' family and friends went out to search themselves and the next day found their bodies in the park.

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