A top police officer who had a child abuse video on her phone has been spared jail.
Novlett Robyn Williams, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, was convicted of possessing an indecent video of a child following at the Old Bailey earlier this month.
Williams, 54, from south London, denied seeing the video, which was sent to her on WhatsApp by her sister, Jennifer Hodge, in February 2018.
Prosecutors said there was no way that Williams could have missed the 54-second clip, and cited a response from the officer to her older sister to “please call” as evidence she wanted to discuss the content.
Williams was sentenced to 200 hours of community service at the Old Bailey today.
Social worker Hodge, 56, of Brent in north-west London, was found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.
Her long-term boyfriend, bus driver Dido Massivi, was convicted of two counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child, and one count of possessing an extreme pornographic image portraying a person having sex with a horse.
Novlett Williams was Scotland Yard’s “golden girl” – the superintendent who worked her way up from “just a handful of O-levels” to helm the Met’s policing of the Notting Hill Carnival.
But her exemplary career – which often saw her placed front and centre of press photocalls – was left hanging in the balance after an indecent video of child abuse was sent to her phone by her sister.
Williams was born to Jamaican parents in Nottingham, though she was estranged from her father and brother in the Caribbean, while her relationship with her co-accused sister was described in court as patchy.
The pair, who shared the same mother, went “in separate directions” growing up – Williams telling jurors that Hodge left the family home by the age of 16, while Williams joined the police at 18 after completing a further education course in social care.
Williams and Hodge saw each other irregularly. There were years at a time where they did not know where the other one was, with Hodge not attending Williams’s 2006 wedding because she had “other commitments”, the court was told.
She earned a Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2003, and a Royal Warrant the year before.
Novlett Williams was praised for forging a crucial bond between grieving community and embattled state after the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The relationships she nurtured during her career meant she was accompanied to court each day by a bank of supporters, including, from her first magistrates’ court appearance, a handful of Grenfell survivors desperate to back the police superintendent who helped them grieve after the 2017 tragedy.
Asked whether her kind nature could extend into criminal behaviour, Williams was unequivocal: “Absolutely not.
“There is nothing I am beholden to anybody for.”
Jurors agreed Williams had not acted corruptly, but they found her defence that she did not see the video implausible.