U.K. Teen Who Killed 2 Women in Effort to Win Lottery Sentenced to at Least 35 Years

A 19-year-old British man on Thursday was sentenced to at least 35 years in prison after murdering two sisters, believing the killings would help him win the lottery, the Associated Press reported.

Danyal Hussein stabbed sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, who were in Fryent Country Park in London in June of 2020 for a birthday party. Hussein did not know the victims but was believed to be obsessed with demons, and promised to kill six women every six months in order to win the Mega Millions Super Jackpot lottery.

Prosecutors said Hussein signed a pact in his blood with a mythical figure he called King Lucifuge Rofocale, and Hussein's DNA was found on a knife dropped in the grass. Hussein denied the crimes and his attorney, Riel Karmy-Jones, did not ask for a delay in the sentencing.

"We hope in time and after some treatment the family will get some answers as to how and why these offenses came to happen," Jones said. "He has got a loving family who are devastated by what has happened."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

U.K. Teen Who Killed 2 Women
A 19-year-old British man on Thursday was sentenced to at least 35 years in prison for murdering two sisters, believing the murders would help him win the lottery. This undated combination family handout file photo, issued by the Metropolitan Police in London, shows Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman. Metropolitian Police/Associated Press

"I am sure you performed these murders as part of that bargain for wealth and power," Judge Philippa Whipple said in delivering the sentence. "You committed these vicious attacks. You did it to kill. You did it for money and a misguided pursuit of power."

Hussein, who was appearing virtually because of ongoing COVID restrictions, turned his chair so as to not face the court as he was sentenced.

The victims' mother, Mina Smallman, a retired Church of England archdeacon, has criticized the response of the police when her daughters were reported missing on the evening of June 6, 2020. She has said officers showed a lack of urgency after looking at one daughter's address and seeing her as "a Black woman who lives on a council [public housing] estate."

With little urgency from the police, the family launched their own search. Nicole Smallman's boyfriend found the bodies 36 hours after the killings. Family members found the weapon used in the slayings nearby.

Britain's police watchdog investigated the way officers handled the missing-persons report. Two police officers have also been charged with misconduct in public office for allegedly sharing pictures of the crime scene on WhatsApp.

In light of the critical report, the grieving mother said that she didn't want to cast a "whole organization'' in a poor light because of one incident. However, she said there was an "underground that has infiltrated and is growing in our Metropolitan Police.''

She praised the investigators who tracked down Hussein, and the media who chose to cover the case, saying "everybody is worth knowing about.''

"There will be no celebrations here,'' she said, "but justice has been done."