Two London police officers have been fired after a tribunal in which they were tried for taking photos of two murdered sisters and described them as “dead birds” in WhatsApp messages.
PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis were dispatched to Fryent Country Park in northwest London last June when the bodies of sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46 were discovered. The two women, who were celebrating Henry’s birthday in June 2020, were stabbed to death by London man Danyal Hussein in a random attack. He was later sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Jaffer and Lewis previously admitted to taking and sharing photos of the women at trial. They are due to be sentenced on December 6, according to the BBC.
On November 24, a tribunal at the Met’s Empress Building concluded that the two former officers committed gross misconduct. PC Helen Tierney says Lewis and Jaffer were told to guard the bodies, but while standing with the bodies, they took the pictures.
"Neither of them had authority or a policing purpose to do so," said Tierney.
"Unfortunately I'm sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds," the WhatsApp message reads.
Jaffer then allegedly sent a WhatsApp message saying: "I'm here now I'll try to take pictures of the dead birds."
Neither Lewis or Jaffer attended the hearing but sent a joint letter to Assistant Commissioner Hellen Ball, who said "no response or explanation" for their actions had been received.
"Both were aware of the other's actions and sent images to the other and failed to challenge or report such actions,” said Ball during the hearing. "It is obvious to all the behavior this way discredits the police service and undermines public confidence. Dismissal would be justified and I find the matter as gross misconduct."