Police officer ‘shared corpse picture'
THE Police Ombudsman is investigating allegations that a PSNI officer took at least one picture of a dead person and shared the image by mobile phone.
The revelation comes just months after two officers in England were jailed for sharing pictures they had taken at a double murder scene.
It is understood the investigation is at an advanced stage. In a series of questions to the ombudsman’s office, The Irish News asked if it is investigating “allegations that a PSNI officer took pictures of a corpse or corpses at one or more death scenes” and distributed them by phone.
In response, a spokesman confirmed that ombudsman Marie Anderson’s office has launched a probe.
"The Police Ombudsman can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation into the matters raised,” he said.
“Due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing it is not possible to comment further at this time.”
The ombudsman’s office has failed to clarify whether the investigation is focused on more than one death scene.
In December Metropolitan Police officers Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were jailed for 33 months each for taking pictures of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman (27) and Bibaa Henry (46).
The victims had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday on the night they were repeatedly stabbed to death in north London by Danyal Hussein, who was later jailed for a minimum of 35 years.
Jaffer and Lewis sent the images and a series of vile messages to others via WhatsApp.
SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly welcomed the ombudsman probe.
"Such allegations must be taken seriously and dealt with severely,” she said.
“Obviously people are in a privileged position [when] people are at their most vulnerable at their time of death, when there is dignity for the deceased and respect for the person who has lost their life and so it must be dealt with.”
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “This is a Police Ombudsman investigation.”