‘Bait’ in Canonbury honey trap robbery denies murder but admits making ‘silly mistake’
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 March 2015
A care worker who targeted a professional poker player in a ‘honey trap’ robbery has denied lying to try and protect her lover.
Leonie Granger, 25, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of being part of the murder of Mehmet Hassan, 56, who was tied up and kicked to death at his flat in Baxter Road, Canonbury, in March last year.
Mr Hassan was allegedly killed for the fruits of his gambling that he had stashed at his home.
Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC has claimed that Granger set up the sting with her former boyfriend Kyrron Jackson and his friend Nicholas Chandler, both 28, after the men had been involved in two armed robberies on the Grosvenor Casino - but with limited success.
The plot was allegedly hatched a month before the killing when Granger met and swapped phone numbers with Mr Hassan at a Mayfair casino.
Standing in the witness box Granger claimed she was “bait to commit robbery” but denied luring the divorced father-of-three to his death.
Mark Milliken-Smith QC, representing Chandler, told Granger that she had “lied” to play to down her part in the plot and that she is “lying to keep Mr Jackson out of it”.
Granger replied “no”.
Granger said she was not still in love with Jackson and that she was “not keeping him out of anything”.
She claimed she had taken responsibility for her actions, adding: “I have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to robbery. I have made a silly mistake.”
Mark Milliken-Smith said: “I suggest that you not only played down your role and understanding of what happened but you have played down the involvement of your partner at the time Mr Jackson.”
Granger, who said she was not in a committed relationship with Jackson whom she had known for about 10 months until their arrest in March 2014, replied: “He was not my partner.”
Granger, of Gillingham, Kent, admits conspiracy to rob but has pleaded not guilty to murder.
She is charged with Mr Hassan’s murder and false imprisonment alongside Jackson and Chandler.
The two men are further charged with robbing Mr 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.
Jackson, of Romborough Way, Lewisham, south-east London; and Chandler, of Lee High Road, south-east London, deny the charges against them.
On the night of the murder, Mr Hassan had treated Granger to an expensive meal at Nobu in Mayfair before they went on to the Palm Beach Casino nearby.
The jury has heard they went to the casino restaurant where they were seen “kissing passionately” by a poker supervisor who told them to “get a room”.
Noting this evidence, Mr Milliken-Smith said: “The intention was that you should lead him on sexually so that he would ask you back to his flat.”
Granger accepted this was the case but stressed that they had not had sex and there “was not a plan” against Mr Hassan.
Mr Milliken-Smith asked: “Are you playing down or lying about your behaviour in the casino to hide your true role?”
Granger replied: “No, if I did it I would say I did it.”
The hearing was adjourned and continued today.
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