London park stabbings: boyfriend found sisters’ bodies as police failed to ‘deploy sooner’

The boyfriend of one of two sisters, both stabbed to death last year, would not have discovered their bodies if police had searched the London area sooner, a senior investigating officer told the trial of the teenager accused of the murders.

The officer, Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, led the investigation into killing of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, in Fryent Country Park, north London, in 2020. He gave evidence on Wednesday at the trial of the man charged, Danyal Hussein.

Harding said on Wednesday that the discovery by Smallman’s boyfriend, Adam Stone, had only happened because the police had not “deployed out”. He told Karmy-Jones: “We wouldn’t be talking about it if the police had found the bodies in the first place.”

Hussein is alleged to have killed the sisters in Fryent Country Park, north-west London, believing he had made a blood pact with a demon to win the lottery.

It emerged during the trial on Wednesday, at the Old Bailey, that Hussein, 19, who denies two counts of murder and possessing a knife, has declined to give evidence in his defence. His barrister, Riel Karmy-Jones QC, told the court that she would call no evidence for the defence.

Earlier Harding was asked by Karmy-Jones about the circumstances in which Stone found their bodies in bushes at the park after he and others started their own search for the sisters.

The trial previously heard how Stone, who had reported Smallman missing to police and even attempted to track her mobile phone, without success, was on the phone to 999 as he walked into the undergrowth where the bodies lay.

The court has heard how police moved to arrest Hussein, of Guy Barnett Grove, Blackheath, London, after DNA at the scene was linked to a member of his family on the national DNA database.

Within an hour and a half officers had connected Hussein with CCTV allegedly showing him buying knives in the supermarket Asda days before the killing, and with an image of a figure returning to his father’s address near the park within hours of the killings, the jury was told.

On 1 July Hussein was arrested at his mother’s London home and taken into custody with cuts to his hand, the court heard. A search of his bedroom led to the discovery of a handwritten “agreement” with a demon to sacrifice women in exchange for winning the Mega Millions Super Jackpot, which was signed in his blood, jurors have heard.

The trial was adjourned until 1 July when the prosecutor, Oliver Glasgow QC, is to give his closing speech. Mrs Justice Whipple told jurors that she expected to send them out to deliberate on verdicts on Monday.

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