Police at sisters murder scene sacked from force after ‘dead birds’ messages

Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis
Support us and go ad-free

Two police officers who took “shameful” crime scene photos and described murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman as “dead birds” on social media have been sacked following a tribunal.

Sackable offences

PC Jamie Lewis, 33, and former officer Deniz Jaffer, 47, used the offensive term when sharing messages on WhatsApp groups after straying from their cordons to take pictures of the two women, who were found dead in bushes in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, North-West London. They also used a racially derogatory term for Pakistanis in messages about other, unrelated police matters.

Fryent Park deaths
Sisters Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman were murdered by Danyal Hussein (Family handout/PA)

Assistant commissioner Helen Ball, chairing an accelerated tribunal in West London on 24 November, decided both men committed gross misconduct. She said:

This was hurtful, dishonest and unprofessional behaviour of the utmost seriousness. I am sorry that our officers behaved in such a hurtful, disrespectful and criminal way. Their actions are shameful.

Lewis will be dismissed from the Metropolitan Police immediately, and Jaffer, who has already quit the force, would have been dismissed without notice if he was still a serving officer. The pair have been warned they face “lengthy” jail terms when they are sentenced next month for misconduct in a public office.

Read on...

Neither Lewis nor Jaffer attended the misconduct hearing, and neither disputed the evidence.

Fryent Park deaths
Deniz Jaffer had already resigned from the Metropolitan Police (Victoria Jones/PA)

The tribunal ruled that the two officers breached six established police standards, including confidentiality, and honesty and integrity, as well as authority, respect and courtesy. PC Helen Tierney, outlining the case against the men, said the pair were placed at a cordon to protect the crime scene in the early hours of June 8 2020. Both left their posts to take unauthorised pictures of the bodies on their phones. Subsequently they shared them with colleagues while Jaffer also sent them to members of the public.

The tribunal heard that Lewis sent a picture message of the dead women in a police WhatsApp group shortly before 4am, writing:

Unfortunately I’m sat next to two dead birds with stab wounds.

Jaffer made a similar reference to being “with two dead birds” in a separate WhatsApp group which included members of the public.

Less than an hour later, Lewis sent a superimposed selfie-style photo of himself with the victims visible in the background to Jaffer. Neither man reported the other’s behaviour to bosses.

Fryent Park deaths
PC Jamie Lewis will be dismissed from the Metropolitan Police immediately (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Racism

The hearing was told that Lewis separately “responded with approval” to another officer who stated he was going to be posted to new location which had fewer Asian people in, who he referred to as “P***s”. Lewis, who did not use the term himself, replied: “Exactly.”

Jaffer also used the same racist term in a separate message to the public on another matter. PC Tierney said:

They behaved in a manner that discredits the police force and undermines the public confidence in it.

The hearing opened with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims and their families. Jaffer, of Hornchurch, east London, and Lewis, from Colchester in Essex, are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 6 December.

Satanist Danyal Hussein, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years for murdering Henry and Smallman.

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Which one is the coward in the flat cap, dark glasses and mask ? They were both idiotic enough to think that Corporate What’s App was a secret. Just shows how stupid the majority of the population is. I wish them lots of karma in the future. I hope they get some time in prison, I am sure they will have a warm welcome from other inmates.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.