convicted of manslaughter for targeting Mehmet Hassan, who was kicked to death
by her boyfriend and a friend
A woman has been found guilty of luring a professional gambler into
bringing her to his flat, where he was kicked to death for the sake of his
Leonie Granger, 25, targeted 56-year-old Mehmet Hassan in
March last year after meeting him in a Mayfair casino.
trial at the Old Bailey, Granger was found guilty of his manslaughter but not
guilty of murder. Her co-defendants Kyrron Jackson, 28, and Nicholas Chandler,
29, were convicted of murder.
There was a disturbance in the dock after the verdicts were delivered
when Chandler began lashing out.
The court heard that Hassan was
oblivious to the sting as he wined and dined the woman he knew as Rachel, even
bragging to his friends that he was not paying her to be with him.
After their first date, Granger, a care assistant from Gillingham,
Kent, was overheard by a taxi driver reporting back that Hassan was
flashy and saying: This guy is a professional gambler. He has
never worked a day in his life.
On the night of the
murder, Hassan took Granger to the expensive Mayfair restaurant Nobu before
going on to the Palm Beach Casino nearby, where he gave her £1,000 in
cash to gamble with.
Granger was spotted by a poker supervisor kissing
Hassan passionately, and the worker told the pair to get a
room. Later, Hassan took Granger back to his Islington flat where she
made an excuse and left in a taxi but not before letting in her
boyfriend, Jackson, and his friend Chandler, who were outside.
parcel tape, the two men tied up Hassan in his bedroom then kicked him to death
and ransacked his home as they searched for his stash of cash.
was known to have two favourite casinos in Mayfair: the Playboy Casino on Old
Park Lane and the Palm Beach Casino in Berkeley Street. He sometimes won as
much as £15,000 at a time and rather than using bank accounts he would
keep his winnings around his flat, even keeping thousands of pounds in his
The fact that the divorced father-of-three enjoyed the
company of women made him particularly vulnerable to the
unscrupulous, the prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC told the jury.
said Hassans death was the culmination of the ruthless greed
of Jackson and Chandler, who had been involved in two armed robberies at the
same casino in South Kensington in January and February last year with limited
success. In each case, guns were used and the victims were tied up and
subjected to violence.
The jury was shown CCTV film of the raids as
well as clips of Granger and Hassan together in the casino hours before the
killing. They were also played a short clip of the three defendants throwing
the victims money around hours after the murder, with Jackson wearing a
gas mask and stuffing a fistful of notes into his underpants.
defence, Granger admitted she had been involved in a plan to rob Hassan, but
denied being party to the murder. She told jurors that on the night of the
killing she saw Chandler waiting outside Hassans flat with another man
she did not know.
While Jackson denied involvement in the murder,
Chandler told the court they had both gone to an address in Islington. He said
while his friend went inside the flat, he stayed in the car outside playing
Flappy Bird and Candy Crush on his phone.
Jackson and Chandler, both
from south-east London, were further convicted of robbing Hassan, two counts of
plotting to rob employees of Grosvenor Casinos, two counts of conspiracy to
have a shotgun and imitation firearm in January last year, and two counts of
conspiracy to falsely imprison.
Members of Hassans family sat in
court throughout the trial. Following the verdicts, victim impact statements
were read out on their behalf.
His sister Meyrem Musa described Hassan
as a very special and unique man, a witty and professional
poker player and a devoted and committed father whose violent
death would haunt the family for ever.
His daughter Stephanie Hassan
said her father had been cheated of a future and the chance to meet his
grandchildren and see his own three children grow up. She wrote that he had
always been there to support his family financially when they needed help,
adding: Every day we miss him and we love him.
of the statements was interrupted by an angry scuffle in the dock as Chandler
stood up, swore loudly and lashed out, before being grappled to the floor by
six dock officers.
Meanwhile, Granger, who wept as she was found guilty
of manslaughter by a majority of 10 to two, cowered in the far corner of the
dock protected by a female dock officer.
After Chandler was removed in
handcuffs, the judge William Kennedy told the remaining defendants: You
will return here for sentence on Tuesday 28 April. I think you understand you
face very significant and immediate custody. That will be all.