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Woman who set up Canonbury honey trap guilty of manslaughter

PUBLISHED: 14:37 15 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 15 April 2015

Leonie Granger in the Palm Beach Casino in central London on the night of March 23

Leonie Granger in the Palm Beach Casino in central London on the night of March 23

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Men who kicked professional poker player to death for his winnings found guilty of murder

Leonie Granger with Mehmet Hassan in the Palm Beach Casino in central London on March 23, 2014Leonie Granger with Mehmet Hassan in the Palm Beach Casino in central London on March 23, 2014

A care worker who lured a Canonbury gambler to his death has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Leonie Granger, 25, was the “bait” in a “honey trap” plot to rob 56-year-old father of three Mehmet Hassan at his flat in Baxter Road – where he was murdered in March last year.

Granger deliberately targeted Mr Hassan after meeting him in a Mayfair Casino, and on their second meeting was taken back to his home where her boyfriend Kyrron Jackson and his friend Nicholas Chandler kicked and stamped the professional poker player to death.

Jackson, 28 and Chandler, 29, were both found guilty of murder following the two-month trial at the Old Bailey which concluded today.

Leonie Granger with Mehmet Hassan arriving at the Palm Beach CasinoLeonie Granger with Mehmet Hassan arriving at the Palm Beach Casino

Following the verdicts, victim impact statements read out on behalf of Mr Hassan’s family described him as a “very special and unique man” and a “devoted and committed father”.

The court heard how Mr 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, of 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, Mr Hassan had taken Granger to the top Mayfair restaurant Nobu before going on to the Palm Beach Casino nearby where he gave her £1,000 in cash to gamble with.

Leonie Granger, Kyyron Jackson and Nicholas Chandler were caught on video throwing their victim's money aroundLeonie Granger, Kyyron Jackson and Nicholas Chandler were caught on video throwing their victim's money around

Dressed in a strapless top, tight-fitting black trousers, high heels and a large gold necklace, Granger was spotted by a poker supervisor kissing Hassan “passionately” and she told the pair to “get a room”.

Later, he took her back to his flat where she made her excuses and left in a taxi - but not before letting in Jackson and Chandler, who were poised to strike outside.

Using parcel tape, the two men tied up Mr Hassan in his bedroom then kicked him to death and ransacked his home as they searched for his stash of cash.

While Mr Hassan’s beaten and bloody body lay undiscovered, the killers were filmed on Granger’s mobile phone throwing wads of GBP50 notes around.

Members of the Hassan family sat in court throughout the trial, and impact statements from the murder victim’s sister Meyrem Musa as well as his daughter Stephanie Hassan, who wrote that he was always there to support his family financially when they needed help, adding: “Every day we miss him and we love him.”

Their statements were 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 by a majority of 10 to two of manslaughter, cowered in the far corner of the dock protected by a female dock officer.

Jackson, of Romborough Way, Lewisham, and Chandler, of Lee High Road, south east London, were further convicted of 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.

The two men will be sentenced along with Granger, of Balmoral Road, Gillingham, at the Old Bailey on Tuesday April 28.


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