(JAMAICA GLEANER) — The fate of a British Metropolitan police chief of Jamaican parentage is hanging in the balance after she was convicted of possessing on her cell phone indecent images sent via WhatsApp by her sister.
According to the UK Guardian newspaper, Superintendent Robyn Williams, 54, faces the possibility of being sacked after 36 years of service.
Williams failed to prove that she had a legitimate reason to have the images or that she had not seen the video and did not have reason to believe it was indecent.
After more than 10 hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a 10-to-one majority verdict finding her not guilty of corruptly failing to report the image, after rejecting the prosecution’s claim that Williams had seen a thumbnail of the image and thus was aware of its serious nature but failed to report it because she feared getting her sister into trouble.
Williams maintained that she never saw the thumbnail. However, the prosecution alleged that Williams was lying to protect her sister.
Williams is one of the most senior female African-Caribbean police officers in the British police force.
She was honoured for her work after the Grenfell fire disaster and had received the Queen’s police medal.
Williams’ 56-year-old sister, Jennifer Hodge, who prosecutors alleged sent the images via WhatsApp to 17 people, including Williams, was convicted of distributing an indecent image of a child.
NO SEXUAL INTEREST
Hodge had been sent it by her partner, Dido Massivi, 61, who was convicted of distributing two indecent images and possessing an extreme image.
The prosecutor, Richard Wright QC, opening the case, was unequivocal that the defendants had no sexual interest in the video.
“This is instead a case in which we allege that each of them made serious errors of judgment about how to handle this video, and in dealing with it as they did, each of them has committed serious criminal offences,” Wright said.
Another person who was sent the video by Hodge reported it to the police. An investigation began and identified Williams as one of those who had received the video.