Case of police officers who allegedly took pictures of two dead sisters in Fryent Country Park referred to Crown Prosecution Service
- Credit: Met Police
A file of evidence relating to allegations that two police officers took and shared photographs of murdered sisters in a Kingsbury park has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were found stabbed to death in Fryent Country Park on June 7.
It is alleged inappropriate photographs were taken at the crime scene and shared on WhatsApp.
Two officers from the North East Command were arrested on June 11 on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and suspended from duties.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has been conducting a criminal investigation into the serious allegations following a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on June 19.
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As well as referring the evidence to the CPS, the IOPC has made two “fast-time learning recommendations” to the MPS.
The first is to ensure officers “within a single police station in the North East Command” conform to the expectations of their behaviour under the code of ethics both on and off duty.
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The second is for the MPS to review whether supervisors and senior management at that police station “are taking personal responsibility to identify and eliminate patterns of inappropriate behaviour” and reporting any actions which do not align with the code of ethics.
The Met said these recommendations “have been largely addressed already” across the entire North East Command.
A Met spokesperson added that “senior officers continue work to ensure these recommendations are fully implemented.”
The IOPC also launched a separate investigation to examine the conduct of a further six officers who allegedly were either aware of, received or viewed the inappropriate photographs and failed to challenge or report them.
In total, 13 officers have been informed their conduct is under investigation for potential breaches of standards of professional behaviour.
Of these 13, two are suspended and five are on restricted duties.
Detectives investigating the murders established that Bibaa and Nicole were killed in the early hours of June 6.
The sisters were reported missing on June 6 after they did not return home from a party celebrating Bibaa’s birthday on June 5.
Their bodies were discovered minutes from the Valley Drive entrance of the park on June 7.
A Met spokesperson said: “As a result of their murder, a mandatory referral was made to the IOPC by the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) to consider the actions of police between the time a number of reports were made to police by family and friends that Bibaa and Nicole were missing and the time they were found.
“The IOPC began a separate independent investigation into this matter. One officer, based at the North West Command, has been advised they are under investigation. This officer is not suspended or on restricted duties.”
A referral to the CPS does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow, the IOPC said.
IOPC regional director for London, Sal Naseem, said: “As a result of our enquiries so far we have made two fast-time recommendations to the Metropolitan Police Service.
“These seek to ensure that police officers, their supervisors and senior management teams all take responsibility for a culture that is in line with the Police Code of Ethics and where inappropriate behaviour can be openly challenged.
“Last month, we also referred one strand of our investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service as the evidence we have gathered indicates a criminal offence may have been committed.
“A report has also been sent to the Metropolitan Police Service to consider its next steps in terms of potential disciplinary proceedings for the two officers.
“Uppermost in our minds remain the family of Nicole and Bibaa, and we continue to provide them with regular updates.
“We also ensure the officers involved are aware of developments in our investigation.”
The MPS spokesperson added: “The MPS continues to co-operate fully with the IOPC on all matters.
“The families of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman are being kept updated by the IOPC.”
Danyal Hussein, 18, of Guy Barnet Grove in Blackheath, has been charged with two counts of murder and possession of an offensive weapon.
He is due to appear at the Old Bailey for an estimated three-week trial on June 1, 2021.