Officer commended for Grenfell work to appeal conviction over child abuse video

Sam Tobin, PA

A highly decorated police officer who was found guilty of having a child abuse video on her phone will challenge her conviction at the Court of Appeal.

Novlett Robyn Williams, who was commended for her work after the Grenfell Tower disaster, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service for possession of an indecent image in November 2019.

Her trial at the Old Bailey heard that Williams received the video via WhatsApp from her older sister Jennifer Hodge, who had originally been sent the video by her long-term boyfriend Dido Massivi.

Williams – who has since been sacked without notice by the Metropolitan Police for “gross misconduct” – will appeal against both her conviction and her sentence on Thursday.

Novlett Robyn Williams court case
Superintendent Novlett Robyn Williams, pictured in 2016, was commended for her work in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy (Yui Mok/PA)

Hodge and Massivi, who lost their jobs as a social worker and bus driver respectively, will also challenge their convictions at the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

At their trial, the Old Bailey heard that Williams had an exemplary disciplinary record and was highly regarded for her work both in the aftermath of Grenfell and at successive Notting Hill Carnivals.

She was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2003.

The court accepted Williams did not view the video and prosecutors said that there was no suggestion the defendants derived any sexual gratification from any of the content.

But jurors were told 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 that she wanted to discuss the content.

Williams faced a second charge, of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers and privilege by failing to notify officers about the video, but was found not guilty of this charge.

Hodge, of Brent in north-west London, was found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child, actions she told the court were intended to find the abuser responsible and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

Massivi, also of Brent, 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.

He was handed an 18-month sentence for each offence to run concurrently and suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

The hearing before Dame Victoria Sharp, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mrs Justice Ellenbogen is due to begin at 10.30am.

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