Case: The Snapchat Killing: Khalid Safi
Khalid Safi
Fatima Khan
Status: Solved
Categories: Teenage Victim
Case synopsis:

Khalid Safi, 18, was stabbed to death by a rival for his girlfriend's affections.

He was attacked outside Costa coffee shop in Victoria Road, Acton, at around 6.30pm on 1 December 2016.

Mr Safi, who came to the UK as a child refugee from Afghanistan and lived in Southwark, was pronounced dead in hospital the same evening.

A post-mortem gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the heart.

Detectives launched a murder investigation and in June 2017 released a picture of the suspect, 19 year-old Raza Khan.

Khalid Safi

Suspect Raza Khan (left, in jacket) and victim Khalid Safi

A reward of £5,000 was offered by the Crimestoppers charity for information leading to the arrest of Khan on 1 December 2017.

Mr Safi's on-off girlfriend Fatima Khan, 19, (06.06.97), of Jersey Road, Ilford, was charged with conspiracy to commit GBH on 16 August 2017 and later charged with murder on 31 October 2017.

She first went on trial at the Old Bailey on 29 May 2018 but the case was aborted due to lack of time. It restarted on 25 June 2018.

On 24 July 2018 Khan was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter. She was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment on 21 September 2018.

The court heard Fatima Khan had been in an on-off relationship with Khalid Safi for about two years and Raza Khan was "a rival for her affections". A previous fight between the two men ended with Mr Safi being stabbed in the shoulder.

On the day of the killing Mr Safi unexpectedly turned up at Fatima Khan's workplace, a security firm, at around 5pm.

The pair argued as they walked around Acton and Fatima Khan filmed it and posted it on Snapchat. She could be heard calling him a "lowlife" and claimed he had attacked her and threatened her with a gun.

Raza Khan responded to the posts by arming himself with a knife and taking a taxi to the North Acton area.

The prosecution claimed Fatima Khan made sure Mr Safi stayed outside Costa coffee by spending a long time in the toilets while on the phone to another friend.

Prosecutor Kate Bex told jurors: 'The prosecution case is that she willingly and knowingly entered into a joint enterprise with Raza Khan to cause serious injury to Khalid Safi and that her role was essential to the success of the plan.

'She told Raza Khan where to find Khalid Safi and she ensured that Mr Safi was still there by the time Mr Khan travelled to the scene.'

CCTV footage captured Raza Khan walking over to speak to Khan before confronting Mr Safi, who was armed with a screwdriver.

After stabbing the victim, Raza Khan fled the scene and dumped his jacket and the knife nearby before getting treatment for minor injuries at hospital. He did not return home and discarded his mobile phone.

Fatima Khan (pictured) went into the café while the two men were fighting before returning to the scene to film Mr Safi as he lay bleeding to death in the pedestrian area. The video was posted on Snapchat with the message: "That's what happens when [you] fuck with me".

When challenged by witnesses she replied: "It's for my sister".

Judge Michael Topolski QC told her: "After the attack your disrespect of Khalid reached new and inhuman depths when in an act of grotesque contempt you calmly walked towards him as he lay dying.

"You filmed him in the process of dying and then took a still picture of him, all of which you sent with that chilling message to all of your Snapchat friends.

"It is hard to imagine how anyone could think in such a cold, callous and despicable way.

"I am saddened to say that I find you someone who is capable of being thoroughly dishonest and highly manipulative."

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Fatima used social media to bring about a confrontation between two young men vying for her affection. She lured Khalid to a spot pre-arranged with the suspect who was named in court as Raza Khan.

"She posted a series of antagonising posts which she knew full well could, at the very least, result in serious harm coming to Khalid.

"When Khalid lay dying after being stabbed, her first thought was to capture the moment for social media - a truly perverse and callous course of action. Khalid was only 18 years old when he was killed and he had his whole life ahead of him.

"A petty argument over rival affections has escalated with a tragic outcome."

Detectives continue to appeal for help tracing Raza Khan.

DCI Cranwell said: “Every effort is ongoing to locate Raza Khan who is wanted for Khalid’s murder. If you know where Khan is, I’d urge you to do the right thing and contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously. Perhaps you have not come forward with information in the past due a number of reasons, none of that matters. All that matters is that all those responsible for taking a young man’s life are brought to justice.”

Khalid's brother Shamsullah Safi said: "I want the attacker to be brought justice as soon as possible. My brother's death has completely ruined my life.

"My brother was very young, only 19 years old when he was killed in the street. He came to London for a better life but was killed for no reason. I want to appeal to anyone, especially the Afghan Community who has any information to come forward and speak to the police."

Anyone with any information concerning this incident is asked to call the police incident room on 020 8721 4054. To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit

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