Policewoman denies trying to protect Brent sister who sent her child abuse video
PUBLISHED: 08:34 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52 12 November 2019
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A highly decorated senior Metropolitan Police officer has denied failing to report her sister to detectives after her sibling sent an indecent video of a child.
Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams, commended for her work at Notting Hill Carnival and for supporting victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, said colleagues accused her of being "wedded to the job", and told jurors she would not deliberately try to prevent her older sister, Jennifer Hodge, from getting in trouble if she had broken the law.
Williams, 54, is on trial for allegedly failing to inform detectives about the explicit video, which featured a young girl performing a sex act on a man, sent to her by Hodge via WhatsApp in February last year.
Williams was one of 17 people sent the 54-second video by Hodge, who in turn had received it from her partner Dido Massivi.
All three are on trial at the Old Bailey.
Giving evidence from the witness box on Monday afternoon, Williams said: "There's no-one or nothing that would change my approach to how I deal with something that's wrong or not right."
Asked by defence counsel Anesta Weekes QC whether her "sympathy" for her sister would "influence" her decision on reporting her to police, Williams replied: "Absolutely not.
"There is nothing I am beholden to anybody for.
"I don't owe anybody anything."
Williams said she was at a gym class the morning she received the explicit content, and its follow-up message from Hodge pleading for the video to be shared in order to catch the male in the video.
Williams, who told jurors she had only started using WhatsApp in early 2017, said she did not remember seeing either message.
She said: "I have lots of messages - there is not a particular pattern, some things I might look at... I am not selective in that way.
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"It depends where I am, what else I am doing.
"Some things might grab my attention, other things may not.
"There are messages there I just don't respond to, I can't tell you why."
Williams said she may have "zoned out" when she saw her sister's plea to share the video because she did not respond to such requests.
She said the siblings did not talk about the video during the several hours they spent at a leisure facility the following day.
Prosecutors said the topic of conversation must have come up.
Williams said: "There is no need for me to arrange to meet my sister at a gym to have a conversation with her.
"There is no need. It is just what we normally do.
"I was with my sister for all of the hours described. That is not unusual. It is no different to any of the Sundays that had gone before."
She added: "It's simply not true that there has been any discussion about a video."
Williams, whose address can only be given as south London, denies possessing an indecent image of a child in February 2018 and corrupt or improper exercise of police powers and privilege.
Massivi, 61, of Brent in north-west London, denies two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child, and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying a person having sex with a horse.
Hodge, 56, also of Brent, denies distributing an indecent image of a child.
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday morning.