Zarif Khan successfully acts for billionaire heiress in overturning her conviction from the Magistrates Court

31 October 2017

Zarif Khan concluded an appeal case at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week that was widely reported and posed questions as to Police conduct in interview situations. Nicole Ovchinnikova, 37, was charged with being drunk in charge of a child and given a £500 fine by Stratford magistrates in August after being arrested at The International Britannia Hotel in Canary Wharf on 2 March this year. Further to the appeal hearing on Friday her conviction was quashed, after claiming that police had mistaken a limp for a sign of inebriation. Witnesses claimed the child had been kept up all night whilst Ovchinnikova and a friend drank heavily, a result of which allegedly left her unable to walk or talk.

She told the panel of one judge and two magistrates: “I sometimes get cramps during the cold weather and my walk is not right. My friends at work make fun of me and say I walk in a funny way." Ovchinnikova told the appeal panel that she was suffering from a limp after breaking her ankle last year. Snaresbrook Crown Court also heard that she might have had a reaction to antibiotics after she picked up a friend’s drink accidentally the next morning. She went on to tell the court she was baited into making a false confession by police: “They would not accept the truth. They had already made their minds up’” she said.

Zarif Khan said: “The reaction to antibiotics is where the adverse effects have come from. We don’t have a breathalyser reading and there is no threshold for drunkenness in charge of a child. There are numerous holes and inconsistencies in the prosecution case and it can’t be relied on.” For more information and press links, see below:

1. The Times

2. The Telegraph

3. Express

4. Metro

5. Geo TV