Two police officers have been arrested after it emerged ‘inappropriate’ pictures were taken at the scene where two sisters were murdered.
Nicole Smallman, 26, and her half-sister Bibaa Henry, 47, were found dead in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north west London, earlier this month – two days after they were reported missing.
Scotland Yard tonight revealed two serving Metropolitan Police Constables were arrested on Monday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.
Allegations pictures had been taken at the scene and shared with a ‘small number’ of others emerged last week.
Bibaa and Nicole were murdered in the early hours of June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s 46th birthday with a group of friends.
A stranger, now confirmed to be male, killed the half sisters in a vicious knife attack sometime after 1am.
The women’s bodies were found after 1pm on June 7 next to each other in a treeline, with a post-mortem examination later revealing that they both died from multiple stab wounds.
Nicole Smallman (left) and Bibaa Henry (right) were last seen dancing to music with fairy lights around 1am on June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s birthday with friends in Fryent Country Park
Allegations emerged last week that ‘non-official and inappropriate photographs’ had been taken at the murder scene. Pictured, forensic officers at the scene
Allegations emerged last week that ‘non-official and inappropriate photographs’ had been taken at the murder scene.
Senior officers said they were ‘horrified and disgusted’ by the allegations, and said that Nicole and Bibaa’s grieving parents have been informed of the ‘deeply disturbing’ development.
The officers, who have not been named but who are based with the Met’s North East Command, have been suspended from duty while the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) continue to investigate.
It said The Met is handling matters involving those members of the public who may have received those images.
IOPC Director for London Sal Naseem said: ‘These are sickening allegations and when we were made aware by the Metropolitan Police, we acted quickly to arrest the officers involved in order to seize vital evidence.
Police released images taken of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, prior to their murders which they believe could assist with appeals (pictured, dancing with fairy lights)
Police also discovered their mobile phones in a pond near where their bodies were found in Fryent Country Park in north-west London on June 6 (pictured, dancing with fairy lights)
‘The victims’ family are naturally extremely distressed at this turn of events and we are ensuring that they are updated as our investigation is progressing.’
The sisters’ mother is 63-year-old Wilhelmina Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend, in the diocese of Chelmsford. She was the first BAME Archdeacon in the Anglican church.
The two Metropolitan Police Constables were arrested by IOPC investigators on Monday, and have been bailed, pending further enquiries.
Met Commander Paul Brogden said he was ‘horrified and disgusted’ by the allegations but could not comment further while the investigation was ongoing.
He added: ‘If true, these actions are morally reprehensible and anyone involved will be robustly dealt with.
‘I am limited in terms of being able to comment further about the matter at this time in order not to compromise the IOPC investigation.’
A MailOnline map shows where police were called to at around 1pm on June 7 to a report of two women found unresponsive
He revealed senior representatives from the Met and the IOPC had visited the sisters’ parents to tell them about the allegations.
‘This deeply disturbing information will no doubt have created additional trauma for a family who are already grieving the devastating loss of two loved ones,’ he said.
‘I can only start to imagine the impact of this; and I’d like to sincerely apologise to them for this further burden.
‘I know that the wider community will share our shock and repulsion at these allegations and whilst our focus remains with Bibaa and Nicole’s family we are also listening to the concerns our communities and key stakeholders will want to raise about these allegations.’
It comes just a week after detectives released two ‘timed selfies’ of the sisters dancing with fairy lights before they were brutally stabbed to death.
Pictures show Bibaa and Nicole dancing with fairy lights in the dark and listening to music in a park in Wembley after 1am on June 6.
Bibaa (right), from Brent in north-west London, was an ‘exceptional’ senior social worker and Nicole (left) from Harrow, the youngest of three sisters, ‘saw beauty in everything’
Police investigating the ‘incredibly unusual’ deaths believe the lights created a ‘distinctive pattern’ which alerted local residents and passersby to their presence.
The images were ‘timed selfies’ taken on one of their mobile phones, which were discovered in a pond in the park. Detective also said today that officers had found a number of items belonging to the pair.
Bibaa and Nicole may have struck up a friendly conversation with their killer and even offered him a drink, according to some of the friends who were with them earlier in the evening and who have now been interviewed by detectives.
Amanda, a neighbour and close friend of Bibaa’s, who was invited to the party but was unable to attend, told MailOnline: ‘Bibaa was very kind and big hearted.
‘She was always thoughtful of other people and often stopped and talked to homeless people and even gave them money.
‘I didn’t know Nicole that well, but she was also a very generous and caring person.
The sisters had been part of a group of 10 people who congregated in the park from around 7pm on Friday, June 5 to celebrate Bibaa’s birthday. Pictured: An aerial showing police guarding the forensics tents in Fryent Country Park
‘I’ve spoken with some of the people that went to the party and they all think that Bibaa and Nicole were the type of women who would not have said no to a stranger if he asked them for a drink or just wanted to join their party for a while.
‘That’s the kind of wonderful, open hearted women they were.’
Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former Archdeacon of Southend
Bibaa’s father is Herman Henry, who once won the England Boxing National Amateur Championships Featherweight title in 1982. Nicole’s father is called Christopher Smallman.
Bibaa, from Brent in north-west London, was an ‘exceptional’ senior social worker and ‘a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families’.
Her family said that before she qualified she would drive disabled children to their activities, ‘singing as they drove along’.
Nicole from Harrow, the youngest of three sisters, ‘saw beauty in everything’ and had a ‘very calm and positive attitude towards most things in life’.
Her family called her ‘a strong advocate for humanitarian causes and saving our planet’ as well as an ‘amazing photographer, actor and singer’.
‘Friends and family all agree she was beautiful both inside and out,’ her family said.
In a statement the family said: ‘The greatest fear of any parent is that they will outlive their children. What makes our situation unique is that two adored sisters were murdered together on the same night.
Police received over 100 calls from the public after appeals for information (pictured, officers guarding forensics tents at Fryent Country Park near Wembley, north London on June 8)
‘The grief we feel is palpable, our beautiful and talented daughters gone. Although there was a large age gap between them they shared a lot of the same interests. They were both very much interested in the Arts.
‘Bibaa a hardworking professional was an exceptional Senior Social Worker and a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families.
‘Before qualifying, and to earn some extra cash, she would transport disabled children to their activities.
‘At her side in a car seat she would have our granddaughter who was only a couple of months old. Her passengers loved them both, she knew all their names and Bibaa would have them singing as they drove along.
‘Bibaa loved her family and she was proud of her parents’ gifts and talents. Bibaa’s father, Herman having been a former ABA Featherweight Champion and Business Man setting up his own Building Contracting Company.
Police forensics at Fryent Country Park. Prior to the two women being discovered, their bodies are believed to have been spotted a day earlier by a woman who believed they were asleep
‘As her mother, she admired my moving from office agency work to training to be a teacher and then to train later for the Priesthood.
‘Bibaa was just barely five foot but she had the heart of a lion and a smile that would put Blackpool illuminations to shame.
‘Nicole being the youngest of three sisters was a joy from the moment she entered this world. Nicole saw beauty in everything; she had a very calm and positive attitude towards most things in life.
‘She was a strong advocate for Humanitarian causes and saving our planet. Her father Christopher and I would laugh together agreeing Nicole was a child of the 60s.
‘She was an amazing Photographer, Actor and Singer. Her speaking voice was silky smooth.
‘Her voice teacher at school had said she should do radio or TV presenting. Friends and family all agree she was beautiful both inside and out. Nicole was incredibly laidback and very approachable.
Forensic tents pictured at Fryent County Park in Wembley. Police were called to the scene after reports of the pair being found unresponsive shortly after 1pm on June 7
‘Nowadays we would be referred to as a ‘Blended Family’ but that is not how we see ourselves. It is not something we would be happy to be said of us.’
The statement continued: ‘Bibaa and Nicole were sisters whose untimely deaths we will spend the rest of our lives trying to come to terms with.
‘The tributes for our girls keep flooding in; it has been comforting, heart-breaking and at times overwhelming. Faith and prayer is keeping us going.
‘I’m not sure how we’d get through this without it. ‘The bond that links your true family is not one blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.’ Richard Bach.
‘The pain we feel as a family is so deep no words can express how we are feeling. This has had a devastating impact on our lives and each day gets worse to think our daughters, Bibaa and Nicole, are not with us and that they have been brutally killed by someone.
A police officer at an entrance to Fryent Country Park in Wembley. A post-mortem gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds. No arrests have yet been made
‘We are appealing to anyone who may have seen, heard, or know something to please contact the police who are investigating what has happened to our daughters’.
Detectives said the suspect received a significant injury or injuries during the attack and is thought to have left the park via the Valley Drive entrance. Police also believe that it is possible members of the public may have stumbled upon relevant items of property, but not realised the significance of them.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said: ‘Following our most recent appeal we received over 100 calls from members of the public who provided information which my officers are now in the process of going through.
‘We are very thankful for this response, and want it to continue. Extensive searches are ongoing at the scene and we are discovering more evidence all the time.
‘Any motive for the murders remains unknown, and we are exploring all possibilities.
‘The meticulous work carried out by our specialist search teams has led to the recovery of a number of items belonging to both Nicole and Bibaa. This includes both of their mobile phones, which were found in a pond some distance from where they were discovered.
‘We already knew that Nicole and Bibaa had been alone in the park from about 12.30am on Saturday June 6. I can now confirm that the last contact they are believed to have had with family and friends was at 1.05am.
‘They were in good spirits and taking selfie pictures, listening to music and dancing with fairy lights until at least 01.13am. Those lights created a distinctive pattern, as the two images we are releasing today show.
‘This in itself may have been noticeable to local residents and other users of the park.
‘We have seized a considerable amount of CCTV from around the perimeter of the park and in surrounding roads. However if you have CCTV or dash cam footage and live locally or were out in the area and have not been contacted I urge you to get in touch.’
DCI Harding added: ‘The victims were much loved sisters who were very close despite their age gap. They were surrounded by friends and family and it’s unimaginable what they are going through.
A police cordon at an entrance to Fryent Country Park. It has emerged that sisters Bibaa and Nicole were the daughters of Wilhelmina Smallman, the former archdeacon of Southend
‘For their sake and the sake of the wider community we need to identify and apprehend the suspect as soon as possible. And we need help from the public to do that.
‘So please do contact us with any information you may have which could assist, no matter how small. Someone out there knows something. I would ask them to look into their conscience and question their protection of an individual who has robbed a family of two beloved women.’
DCI Harding previously said: ‘In this sort of setting in rural London the murder is incredibly unusual and it gives us an enormous crime scene to look through.
‘But we won’t stop until we’ve done everything we need to do here to try to find out, and if the public could help us with that that would be fantastic.’
The suspect is likely to be wearing a bandage from a ‘noticeable’ injury with caused ‘significant’ blood loss from the time of the attack. Police have been collecting blood samples from the scene.
DCI Harding said that people should not be afraid of flagging potential suspects to police if they know someone in the area who is bandaging an unexplained injury or injuries.
Flowers an an entrance to Freyent Country Park in a tribute to the two sisters. Residents living close to the area said a number of people had been staying there in tents during lockdown
When asked if he was worried the killer might strike again, he said: ‘We always have a fear of what might happen but we are assuring members of the public we are working around the clock.’
It has also emerged that a Snapchat user warned about a man ‘killing people’ in the area and going around ‘scaring’ people a week before the two murders.
The 15-year-old daughter of local resident Amanda Jacob Da Silva, 40, said her friend had posted about a man ‘going around north-west London’ on the app.
‘She said for people around Brent to beware, tell people where you are if you are going out and to call people if you are out by yourself,’ the girl said. ‘It said especially girls. It said there is a man going around killing people and the person on the Snapchat said tell people where you are.’
Police were called to Fryent Country Park at around 1pm on June 7 to a report of two women found unresponsive.
Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene. A post-mortem examination conducted on June 9 gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds.
Nicole and Bibaa were in a group of people who congregated in the park from around 7.40pm on June 5 to celebrate Bibaa’s 46th birthday. Gradually people are believed to have left throughout the evening.
Officers believe Nicole and Bibaa were murdered after 1am.
Both Nicole and Bibaa were reported as missing to police late on June 6 when they did not return home, before they were discovered on Sunday. Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command (Homicide) are investigating, with the assistance of officers from the North West Command Unit.
North West Borough commander Roy Smith vowed to ‘leave no stone unturned’, adding: ‘My thoughts are with the family who have lost two loved ones in the most tragic of circumstances.
‘I know the experienced investigation team are working around the clock to identify whoever is responsible as swiftly as possible and ensure they are brought to justice. We will leave no stone unturned. Extra resources have been brought in to help from across the Met including additional detectives.’
A 36-year-old man arrested in south London on suspicion of murder was released with no further action.