Two sisters were killed in a “frenzied and relentless” attack last year before their bodies were concealed in park undergrowth, the trial of a teenager accused of their murders has been told.
Danyal Hussein “planned to sacrifice women so that he could make money” in the belief that a “demon” would deliver a lottery win for him, according to the prosecution.
Opening the case against the 19-year-old at the Old Bailey, Oliver Glasgow QC said Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, had been killed in north-west London on a night that was meant to be a celebration of Henry’s birthday.
A combination of forensic and CCTV evidence led police to Hussein, said Glasgow, and his DNA was found on both sisters’ bodies as well as on a bloodstained knife discovered close to them at Fryent country park.
If this combination of evidence “was not damning enough”, police had made further discoveries, added Glasgow, saying the defendant had purchased a set of knives that matched the exact make of knife that appeared to have been used. He was also said to have attended hospital on the day after the alleged murders with fresh cuts to his hand.
Police subsequently discovered handwritten notes at Hussein’s home address, including one in which he set out his intention to “sacrifice” six women every six months as part of a “bargain” with a demon , according to Glasgow. Lottery tickets were folded inside the note, which Hussein denies writing.
Hussein, of Blackheath, south-east London, denies two counts of murder and possession of an offensive weapon. The court heard prosecutors anticipate Hussein is likely to claim he was attacked by someone and that he has been the victim of a conspiracy.
The sisters and some friends had gathered in the park on Friday 5 June last year after selecting the venue because restrictions imposed during the first lockdown.
“Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman enjoyed themselves so much they decided to stay on in the park after their guests had left and the two of them lit fairy lights, listened to music and danced – their affection for each other and their shared delight at being together is obvious from the photographs and videos that were taken that evening,” Glasgow told the trial.
Enrique, of Brent in north-west London, was a senior social worker described by her family as being a “a passionate advocate for safeguarding vulnerable children and families”.
Smallman, of Harrow in north-west London, was the youngest of three sisters as well as a photographer and graduate of the University of Westminster.
The jury was shown CCTV footage of the sisters making their way to the birthday picnic and what the prosecution alleges was Hussein setting off from his home address to make final preparations for his plan.
Glasgow said Hussein, wearing blue latex gloves, had a rucksack and travelled into central London to collect two recent purchases, a mask and a shovel, from an Amazon locker.
The trial was told he had arrived at the park about three-quarters of an hour after the sisters and had used an entrance from where he would have easily seen the celebrations. Footage of him leaving the park was not until 4am and it was was likely he spent much of his time looking for potential victims, said Glasgow.
Él agregó: “Why he chose Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, or what it was about them that caught his attention is also unclear. Pero, once their friends had left, two of them were far more vulnerable: distracted by the fun they were having, eye-catching because of the lights they were playing with, and now on their own.”
The trial is expected to last four weeks.