Met Police superintendent appeals against abuse video conviction

By Danny Shaw
Home affairs correspondent

image copyrightJulia Quenzler
image captionSupt Novlett Robyn Williams (right) was on trial with her sister Jennifer Hodge and Dido Massivi (left)

One of Britain's most senior female police officers is appealing against her conviction for possessing an image of child abuse on her mobile phone.

Supt Novlett Robyn Williams of the Met Police was found guilty last month after a trial at the Old Bailey.

She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work and register as a sex offender.

The officer had failed to report her sister for sending her the "disturbing" video clip.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed it had received "initial notification" that Williams had lodged an appeal against her conviction and sentence.

During her trial, the jury was told Williams was one of 17 people to receive the 54-second clip via WhatsApp.

Prosecutors had argued there was no way she could have missed its arrival in her inbox.

While the court accepted Williams did not view the material, they rejected her claim she was unaware of its presence on her phone.

Williams had denied the charge, saying she "zoned out" when she received the video.

But a response sent to her older sister Jennifer Hodge saying "please call" was evidence Williams wanted to discuss its content, the prosecution said.

Williams was cleared of a charge of corrupt or improper exercise of police powers in failing to report the distribution of an image.

image copyrightPA
image captionSupt Novlett Robyn Williams, pictured with London mayor Sadiq Khan, was highly commended for her work helping families affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster

Her case will now be referred to a senior judge to decide whether or not there are grounds for a full appeal hearing.

Williams is still working for the Met but is on restricted duties, which include no contact with members of the public.

The force said it was "considering" a report about her case which it had received from the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionSupt Novlett Robyn Williams had denied all the charges

Williams' sister Jennifer Hodge, 56, of Brent, was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service having been found guilty of distributing an indecent image of a child.

The social worker had denied sending the video, which she received from her partner and allegedly depicted a young girl performing a sex act on a man.

Hodge's partner Dido Massivi, 61, was given an 18-month jail sentence suspended for two years, as well as 200 hours of community service.

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