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Sophie Naftalin’s Notable Cases

Wafah Chkaifi 2023

Sophie acts for the family of Ms Wafah Chkaifi in ongoing inquest proceedings. Wafah was murdered by her former partner who was in breach of a stalking protection order. In 2023 Sophie successfully challenged by way of judicial review the outcome of the IOPC independent investigation which had concluded that although there were failings in how the police had managed the stalking protection order, they were not sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct.  By order dated 10 November 2023, the High Court quashed the first decision and ordered a new decision. The Order of the High Court together with a Statement of Reasons can be seen here

Kellie Sutton 2023

Groundbreaking inquest conclusion of unlawful killing following the self-inflicted death of Kellie Sutton in the context of domestic abuse.  Sophie had challenged the original 2020 inquest by way of judicial review. A second inquest which took place in 2023 resulted in critical findings of the police prior to Kellie’s death and an unlawful killing conclusion. The record of inquest can be seen here.

In 2023 Tortoise Media created a podcast “Landmark” about the Kellie Sutton inquest which includes interviews with Sophie about the case, and which can be downloaded here.  Channel 4 covered the inquest and their report can be seen here

Errol Dixon 2023

Sophie acts for Errol Dixon, an elderly Black man who was punched in the face during a stop by Metropolitan Police Officers. In 2023 the High Court quashed the IOPC investigation into the relevant events.

An ITV report on the case including interviews with Mr Dixon and Sophie can be seen here

AXO (2015 – 2024)

Sophie acts for AXO in an appeal to the Court of Appeal of a decision of the Upper Tribunal made on an application for judicial review: R (AXO) v FTT (Social Entitlement Chamber) & Another  [2022] UKUT 265 (AAC)

AXO’s mother was murdered by her former partner. Following the death, AXO recovered an award from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) in respect of her mother’s death. She later successfully brought and settled Article 2 civil proceedings against three State defendants arising out of failings prior to her mother’s murder. Following the settlement, CICA sought to recover AXO’s Article 2 damages on the basis that the CICA award and the Article 2 damages arose out of the same injury and did not reflect separate losses. AXO challenged that decision, first to the First-tier Tribunal, then by judicial review to the Upper Tribunal, and now to the Court of Appeal.

Sophie Williams (2023)

Sophie represented Sophie’s partner in the inquest into her death in which the Coroner concluded that serious failings in psychiatric care contributed to her death.

The Coroner has also made a report to prevent future deaths to Barnet Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, NHS England and the Tavistock requesting improvements to the provision of mental health support to trans patients. Details of the case can be found here

Lauren Murray 2022

Sophie acted for the family of Lauren Murray in inquest proceedings. In 2023 a Coroner reached factual findings in relation to the years of domestic abuse suffered by Lauren and concluded that she died from suicide following an argument with her estranged husband. She also indicated her intention to make a report to prevent future deaths in relation to the evidence gathering by the police in the immediate aftermath of Lauren’s death. Details of the case can be found here

Lance Scott Walker (2022)

Sophie acted for the family of Lance Scott Walker, a teenager who was killed in August 2016 whilst living in unregulated accommodation provided by the local authority. In December 2022 an inquest jury returned a damning narrative concluding that serious failings on the part of LB Islington, LB Ealing and West London NHS Trust contributed to Lance’s death.

Details of the case can be found here

Channel 4 did a piece on Lance’s case which can be seen here

Donna Neill (2022)

Sophie acted for the family of Donna Neill who died in December 2018. An inquest conducted in July 2019 while the family were unrepresented concluded that Donna died from an inadvertent overdose. Sophie challenged the first inquest which was quashed by the High Court. A second inquest concluded in September 2022 that Donna had died as a result of gross failures by LB Newham and East London Foundation NHS Trust and that her death had been contributed to by neglect.

Details of the case can be found here

Harper Denton (2022)

Sophie acted for Harper’s mother. The Coroner concluded that serious state failings contributed to her death and made three prevention of future death reports to the Metropolitan Police , the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care.

The PFD report can be seen here

Jessie Laverack (2022)

Sophie acted for the family of Jessie Laverack who died in February 2018. In June 2022 a Coroner concluded that multi agencies failures contributed to her death and made a powerful prevention of future death report calling for better understanding of the link between domestic abuse and suicide.

Details of the case can be found here

In November 2022 Channel 4 News did a detailed news piece on Jessie’s case including an interview with Sophie which can be watched here


Sophie acts for Ms XAB, a Black teenager who was struck up to 34 times by PC Benjamin Kemp who was subsequently found guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Service. Details of the case can be found here

Channel 4 reported on the case here

“Rough sex defence” cases

Sophie acted for two rape and assault victims in successful challenges by way of the Victims Right to Review following decisions not to prosecute their perpetrators. Both cases have since resulted in charges and convictions.


Sophie acted for a victim of trafficking and coercive control in a challenge by way of the Victims Right to Review Scheme, resulting in the perpetrator being charged and convicted of coercive control.

Linah Keza

Sophie acted for the family of Linah Keza in civil proceedings against the police following her domestic homicide. Three officers were found guilty of gross misconduct. The civil claim settled for substantial damages, together with a formal apology and assurances of lessons learned.

See the Observer’s detailed report on the case here.

See Sky programme “Murder at My Door” about Linah: here

Anne-Marie Nield

Sophie acted for the family of Anne-Marie Nield in the inquest following her murder by her ex-partner. Coroner found that her death was preceded by failings by Greater Manchester Police.  In 2019 a Coroner made an important Prevention of Future Death report identifying ongoing failures in how Greater Manchester Police dealt with domestic abuse, including the failure to understand the significance of non-fatal strangulation.

See report in the Manchester Evening News here and the Independent here

Donna Williamson

Sophie acted for the family of Donna Williamson who was murdered by her ex partner. In 2019 a Coroner found significant failings by the Metropolitan Police Service and made a series of prevention of future death reports. See report in the Guardian here.


Sophie acted for the family of JXO following her murder by her ex-partner. The first DHR was challenged and a new DHR commissioned. The civil claim settled for substantial damages, together with a formal apology and assurances of lessons learned.


Sophie acted for a child who was a victim of online grooming. The police had failed to investigate her perpetrator exposing her to abuse for a further year. The civil claim settled for substantial damages, together with a formal apology and assurances of lessons learned.

Olaseni Lewis

Assisted Raju Bhatt in representing the deceased’s family in their quest for justice in relation to police restraint related death of Olaseni Lewis at Bethlem Royal Hospital, including investigation by the IPCC, eventual inquest culminating in a jury verdict highly critical of police and hospital staff alike, subsequent police disciplinary proceedings, and ultimately a formal apology and substantial settlement in satisfaction of claim for assault, negligence, misfeasance and breaches of the HRA 1998 against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Mohamud v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

A civil claim and complaint on behalf of a young victim of a racially motivated attack, where police failed to treat him as a victim of crime. These officers went on to face disciplinary proceedings and the case settled with an apology and damages. The case has been used by the IPCC to develop their new guidance on dealing with allegations of discriminations and an article was published in Vice magazine about Omar’s experience of the complaint’s process.

Taiwo v Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset

Secured an admission that the failure by police to investigate a racist attack had been discriminatory and breached the HRA, and substantial damages. The police are making a training film about the events which will be viewed by every officer in the Constabulary as part of their training to ensure that lessons are learned.

The Observer published a feature on the case which can be read here.

R v LZ [2012] EWCA Crim 1867

Successful criminal appeal on behalf a victim of trafficking following a guilty plea for possession of false documents.

R v Mohamed [2010] EWCA Crim 2400

Landmark Court of Appeal judgment overturning the convictions of refugees who had been wrongly advised of their defence under s31 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Sophie acted for one of the appellants.

Contact a member of the Bhatt Murphy team today