Sisters' murder trial likened to a 'leaky ship' by defence lawyer

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. Picture: Met Police

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Met Police

The lawyer defending a teenager accused of murdering two sisters in Kingsbury has compared evidence against him to a "leaky ship". 

Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were brutally stabbed in Fryent Country Park in the early hours of June 6, 2020.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Danyal Hussein appearing in the dock at the Old Bailey, Lon

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Danyal Hussein appearing in the dock at the Old Bailey - Credit: PA

Danyal Hussein, 19, Guy Barnett Grove, Blackheath, allegedly murdered them after making a "blood pact with a demon".

He was identified as a suspect after a familial DNA link to the scene was uncovered.

Hussein was also allegedly caught on CCTV buying knives and returning to his father’s home in Kingsbury after the killings.

The defendant has declined to go into the witness box and no evidence was called on his behalf during his Old Bailey trial.

On Friday (July 2), his lawyer Riel Karmy-Jones QC told jurors to consider the evidence against him carefully and not be swayed by sorrow or anger at the tragic loss of life.

She suggested the police considered the case a “slam dunk” after identifying Hussein as a suspect and then closed down other avenues of investigation, leaving “many loose ends”.

Ms Karmy-Jones described the case against Hussein as a “leaky ship”, which on closer inspection had holes in it.

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She told jurors: “Just remember another leaky ship, the Titanic. Beautiful, shiny and new as it set sail. A ship that could not sink. But it did.”

The defence lawyer said there were problems with some of the evidence as it was initially presented.

One example she gave was that three lottery tickets seized from Hussein’s bedroom were presented as being tucked into the alleged demonic agreement to sacrifice women to win a jackpot - when they had been found nearby. 

Ms Karmy-Jones said: “So look at the evidence yourselves and decide what the evidence tells you and what inferences you can draw from it.”

She said Hussein had only just turned 18 at the time of the killings and had no previous convictions.

On his arrest, he told police he had autism, a bad memory and that he had been robbed in explanation for cuts to his hand.

His lawyer asked: “Why must you assume he was not telling the police the truth and he was not robbed that night and that was not how his injuries occurred?”

On his demeanour, she said: “You have seen how he has behaved in court. You may think at times his behaviour has been odd.

“Please judge him on the evidence, not on his behaviour in court if you have noticed something out of the ordinary.”

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Emily Pinnick, PA