Metropolitan Police officer has been dismissed without notice following her conviction for possessing an indecent image of a child.
Novlett Robyn Williams, a superintendent currently based at the Central West Command Unit, attended a special case hearing on Friday, 13 March to answer an allegation she had breached the standards of professional behaviour.
Supt Williams was sentenced on Tuesday, 26 November at the Old Bailey after being convicted on Tuesday, 19 November of possessing a Category A moving image file of a young child (the category given to the highest level of abusive images). She received a community order to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and is subject to the sex offenders’ notification requirement for five years.
An independent investigation was carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the MPS agreed with the IOPC that Supt Williams should face a special case hearing following her conviction.
Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball, Professionalism, sitting with a legal advisor, conducted the hearing and found that Supt Williams’ conviction was discreditable conduct and amounted to gross misconduct.
The MPS is aware Supt Williams has lodged an application for leave to appeal her conviction with the Court of Appeal. However, the regulations under which this special case hearing was held require such hearings take place without delay. Supt Williams’ application was not a basis for delaying the hearing.
Supt Williams has the right to appeal, regardless of criminal matters, the outcome of the special case hearing to a police appeals tribunal.
Supt Williams, 54, stood trial alongside Jennifer Hodge, 56 (4.10.63) of Deacon Road NW2. Hodge was sentenced to a community order to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work having been convicted of distributing an indecent image of a child, namely a moving image file.
Dido Massivi, then 61 (12.12.57), also of Deacon Road NW2, had been found guilty of the same count plus further counts of distributing an indecent image of a child, namely a moving image file, and possession of extreme pornography after more material was found on his phone. He was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years to run concurrently on each of the three counts. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work under a community order.
Hodge is subject to the sex offenders’ notification requirement for five years; Massivi for ten years.
Supt Williams was one of 17 people sent the video via WhatsApp on Saturday, 3 February 2018 by her sister Hodge who received it from her partner Massivi.
It was alleged Supt Williams did not report the matter to police as she was obliged to. Officers had already been alerted by another woman who had received the video and attended a police station on Sunday, 4 February 2018.
An investigation was launched by officers in Frontline Policing in line with proper investigative and safeguarding practice.
Hodge and Massivi were arrested that evening and Supt Williams interviewed under caution on Friday, 26 March 2018.
A file of evidence was presented to the Crown Prosecution Service who evaluated and then made the decision to charge the three defendants. Hodge and Massivi were served postal requisition charges on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 and Supt Williams on Friday, 15 February 2019.
MPS policy guidelines, which were part of the jury bundle, were followed about the unsolicited receipt of indecent images of children with all parties, including Supt Williams.
No further action was taken against anyone else. Sixteen people of the 17 who received the video acknowledged receipt when spoken to by police. Some had challenged Hodge directly. Two reported the matter to police and were called as live witnesses at the trial. They all had an immediate defence in law as they either deleted it or reported it.
Hodge, Massivi and Supt Williams stood trial at the Old Bailey and were convicted by a jury. Supt Williams was found not guilty of corrupt/improper exercise of police powers and privileges by a constable in failing to report the distribution of that image.
The judge said in his sentencing remarks that his interpretation of the jury’s verdict was that they did not accept Supt Williams was unaware of the content of the video until her sister called her after her arrest on the evening of Sunday, 4 February 2018.
He said he was sure Supt Williams was aware of the video being on her phone and in broad terms of its content on the Saturday evening at the latest. He added it was “fanciful” Supt Williams and Hodge did not discuss the video when they spent time together on the Sunday.
There was no suggestion whatsoever Supt Williams had played the video nor did she have it for sexual gratification.