UK police officers plead guilty to taking photos of murdered sisters
The two men admitted to leaving their posts to photograph the bodies.
Two Metropolitan police officers have pleaded guilty to taking photos of two murdered women and sharing images of the crime scene on WhatsApp, the Guardian reports.
PC Deniz Jaffer and PC Jamie Lewis were supposed to be guarding the bodies of Nicole Smallman, 27 and Bibaa Henry, 46, who had been stabbed to death in June 2020.
The women were celebrating Henry's birthday in a park in north-west London. They stayed behind after the party and were murdered. Danyal Hussein, who was 18 at the time of the crime, was convicted of both murders, and was jailed for life.
The Old Bailey heard how the officers left their assigned posts and approached the bodies of the women. They then used their mobile phones to take photos of the women. PC Lewis edited one of the photos and superimposed his face onto the image.
The officers took other photos of the crime scene, which did not include the women, and shared them in a WhatsApp group which included over 40 officers, titled the "A-team".
Jaffer and Lewis pleaded guilty to a single count of misconduct in public office.
After admitting their role in taking and distributing photos of the crime scene, Judge Mark Lucraft QC said that it is "extremely likely" that the officers will be jailed for the misconduct.
In a statement following the hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service said: "An investigation found that while on duty in the park both PC Jaffer and PC Lewis left their posts and approached the murdered women – risking contamination of the crime scene – to take pictures of them on their phones.
"PC Lewis edited one of the pictures by superimposing his own face on to the photograph with the victims in the background. He sent the resulting image to PC Jaffer, who then forwarded it unsolicited to a female officer also present at the scene.
"PC Jaffer showed one of the photos of the victims to a male officer as they left the park. PC Lewis also shared photographs he had taken at the crime scene, which did not show the victims, with a WhatsApp group of 40-plus police officers called the A Team.
"PC Jaffer, meanwhile, sent photographs of the victims to three friends via WhatsApp."
Feature image via BBC.