Tributes paid to lawyer killed at Tube station

Members of the transgender community have paid tribute to a renowned cross-dressing human rights lawyer who died this week when he was hit by a Tube train during rush hour.

David Burgess, 63, who was known by the name of Sonia, was killed in front of scores of commuters on Monday evening at King's Cross Station. A 34-year-old woman, Nina Kanagasingham, has been charged with his murder.

On message boards used by the transgender community a number of tributes have appeared, hailing the father of two for both his role in the community and as a human rights lawyer with Luqmani Thompson and Partners.

Suzanne Clare, who described herself as a "cross-dresser from London", posted: "I feel devastated by the meaningless destruction of a loving and gifted person. I am proud to have been one of her friends – her passing will always leave a void in my life."

Mr Burgess used well-known transgender websites both to meet partners and advertise himself as an escort. He had posted a number of profiles under the name Sonia Jardiniere.

On the website Birchplace, which bills itself as a "lifestyle fetish community", the solicitor advertised himself as an escort and posted several photographs of himself as a woman, describing himself as having a "party doll" personality.

Under the heading "Things I like", he wrote: "Fashion, make-up, shopping, romance, Look magazine, romantic films and most guys but let's not forget girls a guy is for 40mins [though maybe the next one will fall in love with me...] but a wardrobe is for a season."

Although legally a man, his family called him Sonia and were fully aware, as were his work colleagues, of his two identities.

As a solicitor he was involved in a number of key immigration and human rights cases. In 1993 Mr Burgess was instrumental in a case involving then Home Secretary Kenneth Baker, who became the first minister to be held to be in contempt for defying a court order banning the deportation of an asylum-seeker.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn