An ‘evil’ 19-year-old has been found guilty of murdering two sisters as they celebrated a birthday in a London park.
Danyal Hussein repeatedly stabbed Bibaa Henry, 46, and sister Nicole Smallman, 27, in Fryent Country Park, Wembley, as part of a ‘demonic pact’ to win the lottery.
Ms Henry, a social worker from Brent, and photographer Miss Smallman, from Harrow, had met with friends in the park to celebrate the former’s birthday in June last year.
Hussein fatally attacked the women in the early hours of the morning, before hiding their intertwined bodies in the bushes. They were found the following morning by Miss Smallman’s boyfriend during a family search for the missing women.
Jurors were told that the sisters’ killings were at the heart of a ‘twisted deal’ Hussein made with an imaginary demon, promising to kill six women every six months in exchange for winning the Mega Millions Super Jackpot of £321 million.
Hussein bought a set of knives at Asda and used his own blood to sign the so-called agreement with mythical demon Lucifuge Rofocale, before stalking and fatally stabbing Ms Henry and Miss Smallman.
Police did not rule out that racism played a part in the way the killer chose the victims, despite referring to only ‘women’ in his demonic plot.
A jury today found Hussein guilty of two counts of murder and possession of a knife after eight hours of deliberation.
He shook his head and crossed his arms as the verdicts were delivered in front of the victims’ sobbing parents, mother Mina Smallman and fathers, Chris Smallman and Herman Henry, who had listened to the details of their daughters’ murders during the month-long trial.
In a victim impact statement read to court, the sisters’ mother Mina Smallman said: ‘No one expects their children to die before them but to have two of your three children murdered overnight is just incomprehensible.’
She added: ‘If any good comes out of this, at least another four women will not meet a similar end in a so-called pact with a so-called demon.’
Separately, the Independent Office of Police Complaints (IOPC) is investigating the Met Police’s response to the missing persons reports of Ms Henry and Miss Smallman.
Two police constables have also been charged with misconduct in public office after they allegedly shared pictures of the crime scene on WhatsApp. They are due to enter their pleas later this month.
Referring to the investigations while speaking outside the Old Bailey following the verdict today, Mrs Smallman said: ‘This is an unbelievable day for us but it’s the first, and there are two more battles to go.
‘But today we remember our girls as the wonderful, strong women they were.’
It can now be reported that Hussein had been brought to the police’s attention at the age of 15 over fears he was vulnerable to radicalisation and violent extremism.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding revealed that Hussein had been on a de-radicalisation programme between October 2017 and May 2018 after being referred to anti-terror scheme Prevent by his school.
Following his arrest over the sisters’ killings, police uncovered a book of spells, handwritten demon symbols and two blood pacts in his bedroom at his mother’s house in Blackheath, south-east London.
In the second sinister pact, police found he had offered blood to mythical ‘demon Queen Byleth’ to make a girl at his school fall in love with him.
He had researched Norse mythology and the far-right on the dark web, while discussing demons and love potions to others online.
But the true depths of his cult-like ideology remain largely unknown because Hussein refused to hand over his passwords for his iPad.
The jury heard how Hussein prepared for the attack by buying a set of knives at Asda, a black balaclava on Amazon, and signing up to a lottery betting website.
He stalked Ms Henry and Miss Smallman as they laughed and danced in the park surrounded by fairy lights on June 6, before he emerged and suddenly stabbed Ms Henry eight times.
Hussein then turned to Miss Smallman who attempted to fight back as he slashed her 28 times, causing her to sustain multiple defensive injuries.
The killer hid their bodies, attempted to clear the scene and disposed of the sisters’ mobile phones in a pond, before returning to his father’s house in Wembley just after 4pm, without his trousers.
Over the next 10 days, Hussein spent £162.88 on lottery tickets and bets – all without success.
On the evening of June 6, the sisters’ worried loved ones reported them missing after becoming concerned when they did not answer their mobile phones – but officers were not sent to search the park until the following day.
Before police arrived, Miss Smallman’s frantic boyfriend Adam Stone, 35, who could not believe she would have left their pet bearded dragon unattended, began searching the park with his parents.
Mr Stone broke down in court as he told how he ran into bushes and fell to his knees at the sight of his girlfriend’s body, after his father found a knife in the grass nearby.
During the attacks, the killer had cut his right hand with the 12cm knife and dropped it in the grass – later leading police straight to him after they found a DNA match.
He was then identified on CCTV in Asda buying the knives and being treated at Northwick Hospital for wounds to his hand.
Following his arrest, Hussein, told police he had Asperger’s syndrome and trouble with his memory, then refused to answer questions.
He disputed all the evidence against him but declined to go into the witness box, with police calling him ‘arrogant’ and ‘evil’, having shown ‘complete disrespect’ to the court and the victims’ loved ones.
DCI Harding believed that Hussein would have continued murdering women had he not been caught and described him as a ‘very, very dangerous individual’.
The detective said: ‘He has committed some of the most savage crimes we have seen for many years in one of the biggest police investigations we have had for a very, very long time.
‘I firmly believe he would have carried out his contract. He would have carried on killing women, until he had killed the first six. If he had not won the lottery by that stage – every six months is what he said’.
The sisters’ parents previously described their grief as ‘palpable’ as they paid tribute to their ‘beautiful and talented’ daughters who ‘adored’ one another.
Olcay Sapanoglu, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the sisters’ lives were ‘cruelly cut short in the most horrific of ways’.
She said: ‘Hussein has shown no remorse throughout these proceedings. He has consistently denied being the person caught on CCTV making his way to and from the park or being the person buying the murder weapon at an Asda supermarket.
‘The deaths of Ms Henry and Ms Smallman have devastated their loved ones and left a local community reeling. Our thoughts remain with all those affected.’