Disciplinary hearing finds Met officers who photographed stabbed girls’ bodies guilty of “shameful” gross misconduct

An east London police officer who shared photos of murdered sisters while referring to them as “dead birds” has been sacked.

Jamie Lewis, 33, and his recently resigned colleague Deniz Jaffer, 47, were assigned to guard the bodies of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in a Wembley park in June last year.

The former officers entered the cordoned-off crime scene to take photos, which they shared on Whatsapp, using “disrespectful and derogatory terms”.

At the Old Bailey on November 2, where both pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office, it was revealed they were in a Whatsapp group of more than 40 officers called “the A-team”.

In the early hours of June 8, Lewis sent a message reading: “Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds”, the hearing was told.

He later sent Jaffer a superimposed “selfie-style” image of his own face on one of the sister’s bodies.

Jaffer of Bancroft Chase, Hornchurch, also wrote: “I’m here now. Will try to take pictures of the two dead birds”.

When formally interviewed about the derogatory messages and photographs two weeks after they were taken, Lewis told officers from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC): “I’m really confident that I didn’t take such pictures”.

Jaffer deleted the photographs from his phone when he heard Lewis was being interviewed by “people in suits”, who he believed to be from the IOPC.

He then told the officers: “It would be underhand to lie, but the photos have been deleted.”

In WhatsApp messages unrelated to the sisters, Jaffer referred to a group of Asian men using a racial slur for Pakistanis.

Lewis was also found to have replied “exactly” after another officer used the same slur.

Both former officers – who served in a unit covering Waltham Forest and Newham – confessed to misconduct in public office earlier this month and will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 6.

Neither men attended their disciplinary hearing today, where assistant commissioner for professionalism Helen Ball criticised their “shameful” gross misconduct.

She added: “I would like to say how sorry I am personally, and on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, that the officers behaved in such a hurtful, dishonest and unprofessional, criminal way”.

Assistant commissioner Ball dismissed Lewis from the force and said she would have dismissed Jaffer if he had not already resigned.

Neither men had mitigating factors in their service records. The hearing heard Jaffer joined the Metropolitan Police from the financial sector in 2018, while Lewis joined in 2019.

Both men will be barred from re-joining police forces in the future.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter

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