Kerim Fuad QC and Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers conclude remarkable Old Bailey Murder trial, dubbed the “Snapchat Murder”
After a trial before HHJ Topolski QC and two juries (the first having to be discharged) that started in late May 2018 and lasted till 24th July 2018, Miss F. K, a 21 year old woman, was found not guilty of the Murder of Khalid Safi on 1st December 2016. She was found guilty of his manslaughter.
She was alleged to have become fed up of being pestered by her on/off boyfriend Mr Khalid Safi and arranged for a male suitor, R K to come down to North Acton and murder him or at the very least cause him really serious harm. R K came to the scene armed with a knife and proceeded to slash at and repeatedly stab Khalid Safi before fleeing the scene. Most of the incident was captured on CCTV. Earlier that very day she had been herself captured filming the very same area of the pavement outside Costa Coffee.
FK rang R K moments after the attack and spoke for over 4 minutes and then remained in sporadic phone contact with R K for several hours until he vanished and has not been seen since. He remains wanted by the police.
The jury heard evidence of her becoming increasingly frustrated and unhappy with KS, coming to her home and workplace in the weeks before the incident, saw footage of her laughing at him and calling him a “lowlife,” culminating in her using the medium of Snapchat to summon R K down in a taxi to outside Costa Coffee in North Acton to get him to make KS “leave her alone.”
There was evidence of her parents arranging for her to be married to a different man in Qatar.
The jury also heard from a barista at Costa Coffee who noticed that FK had a knife secreted in her handbag.
FK was a Snapchat addict such that as Mr Fuad QC described it;
“She lived her life through the prism of Snapchat not seeing the world with her eyes but seeing it, living it, through the tiny window of her phone, social behaviour that is sadly a blight on our youth of today. She is the Ilford Queen of Snapchat.”
The jury heard evidence of her having over 38,000 photos on just one of her mobile phones.
As Khalid Safi lay bleeding to death and being treated by members of the public, she walked up to him and shocked all there as she started taking a video of him lying in a pool of blood and took a photo of him.
She added the caption;
“That’s what you get when you fuck with me,” which she promptly sent to her Snapchat group.
She did not ring for an ambulance.
She had taken the deceased’s mobile phone from the scene and said her father later threw it away. Accordingly its contents could not be accessed.
Afterwards she sent ‘Whats App’ messages to the deceased’s mobile number 2 months after his death asserting her profound love for him and how much she was missing him. These were claimed by the crown to be false sentiments to throw the police off track.
During the trial and in the middle of her evidence , out of the blue she started producing items from her handbag which she claimed supported her defence but which (easily) proved to be documents that she had forged and a watch she produced which she said she kept as it reminded her of him. It transpired that she had been bought a watch but had lost it. She produced a replacement watch for the jury which she had just bought on the internet during the trial. The ‘whats app’ messages recovered showed dialogue that she did not care about the watch.
Further she claimed that she had a driving lesson on the evening of the murder that she had to get back in time for, so could not have planned the murder. During the trial the jury heard that she had asked her driving instructor to insert a false entry in his work diary to state that she had a lesson an hour after the incident. The driving instructor was called by the crown in rebuttal to give evidence against her.
She also fabricated her own schedule of lessons to suggest she had a lesson that evening.
She claimed to have a tattoo of the deceased’s first name. The invoice she produced in support of this, showed she had in fact forged it (using a phone app to do so) and even misspelt the name of the tattoo shop (“Fantos” instead of “Fantas”). This was another matter disproved with ease in rebuttal by the crown.
Mr Fuad QC made another of his powerful trademark opening speeches which succeeded in diffusing much of the crown’s cross examination of FS and putting the case in context.
Kerim Fuad QC and Kevin Molloy both of Church Court Chambers, London were instructed by Attiq Malik of “Liberty Law” solicitors.