The mother of two sisters murdered in a park has said: “As a person of faith, a follower of Christ, losing two of my girls in this way could have been enough to shake a person’s faith. Fortunately it didn’t.”
The Venerable Mina Smallman commended police for bringing the killer of of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman to justice.
She declined to name the officers facing misconduct charges over an incident that allegedly occurred as they were supposed to be guarding the bodies in Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north London.
Instead, she focused on her daughters – talented photographer Ms Smallman and dedicated and caring social worker Ms Henry.
Mina Smallman, PA Stefan Rousseau
Speaking outside the Old Bailey after Danyal Hussein was convicted of their murders, the retired Church of England cleric said: “I have made no bones about my complaints with the Metropolitan Police office but today I have to say I can only commend them.
“This team moved heaven and earth to ensure we felt that we were being supported.
“This is the kind of police force that I believe in and we need to work towards so we have justice and families are treated with respect.”
She added: “Today we remember our girls as the wonderful, strong women they were and we hope that some good will come out of this horrible story.”
Earlier, in a victim impact statement read to court, she described the moment she learned from Ms Smallman’s boyfriend Adam Stone that he had found her daughters dead – the day after they were reported missing to the police.
“He said ‘Mina I’m going to need you to sit down… We’ve found them, they’ve gone’.
“I instantly fell to my knees and began screaming, screaming and screaming. I sobbed for ages, I have no idea how long for, I lost all concept of time.”
Mrs Smallman, the first female Church of England archdeacon from a black or ethnic minority background, said: “No-one expects their children to die before them but to have two out of three of your children to be murdered on the same night is just incomprehensible.
“As a person of faith, a follower of Christ, losing two of my girls in this way could have been enough to shake a person’s faith. Fortunately it didn’t.”
She went on: “Our family’s grief was further compounded by the cordon officers who will now be known as despicable 1 and 2, any inner strength I had reserved had been torn away.”
When she learned Hussein had been arrested, she felt huge relief that he could not do it again.
As the case progressed, she kept hoping he would “do the right thing” in light of the overwhelming evidence and spare the family the “nightmare journey”.
Instead, the trial started on the first anniversary of the discovery of the sisters’ bodies, an irony not lost on the family.
Mrs Smallman said: “The things we have been subjected to, the level of detail has been horrific.
“To hear that our girls were dragged along the grass so their clothes were pulled up then placed in some kind of macabre position, it makes you think that this is a person who actually doesn’t have a heart. There can be no connection with humanity.”
On Hussein, she said: “I understand poor upbringing, greed, I taught boys at secondary school and out of thousands of boys I have taught, I have never come across such evil.”
She added: “If any good comes out of this, had he not been found, he had another four women lined up to murder to meet his pact with his so called demon.”