Ex-Met officer who was sent abuse clip by Brent sister wins appeal

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams was fired in March 2020 but could now return to work. 

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams was fired in March 2020 but could now return to work. - Credit: PA Archive / PA Images

A Met Police officer, lauded for her Grenfell Tower response, has won an appeal against her dismissal after being convicted of possessing a child abuse video. 

Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams, 56, was fired last March for ‘gross misconduct’ and sentenced to 200 hours of community service for possession of footage on her phone in November 2019.

She appealed and it was upheld on Wednesday (June 16) by a panel, which determined that she should have been issued with a final written warning rather than being dismissed.

The Police Superintendents’ Association said the independent panel, consisting of a legally qualified chair, a lay person and a serving senior police officer, found her dismissal from the Met to be both “unfair” and “unreasonable”. 

The trial at the Old Bailey heard Ms Williams received the video via WhatsApp from her Brent-based sister Jennifer Hodge, 57, who had originally been sent the clip by her boyfriend, 63-year-old Dido Massivi.

The court accepted Ms Williams did not view the footage but the jury was not convinced she was unaware of it being on her phone.

Jurors heard that Ms Williams had an exemplary disciplinary record and was highly regarded for her work both in the aftermath of the Grenfell inferno in 2017 and at successive Notting Hill Carnivals.

She was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2003.
Ms Williams said: “I am extremely pleased with today’s outcome and would like to thank the members of the panel for their decision, Gerard Boyle QC for continually fighting my case, and for the countless people within policing and beyond, including representatives of the Police Superintendents’ Association, who have supported me throughout.

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“For over a year, before and during the pandemic, I have continued to support local people by working within community initiatives.

“I am therefore delighted to be able to return to the work I love, serving our communities within London.”

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that they would wait for the full judgement, expected in a week, before engaging with Ms Williams' representatives.

Ms Williams’ appeal against her conviction for having a child abuse video on her phone was refused by the Court of Appeal in February. 

Additional reporting by Catherine Wylie, PA.