Justice and the Law

Violent and distressing scenes at the Old Bailey as men found guilty of honeytrap murder of professional poker player

The three killers of professional poker player   Mehmet Hassan celebrating his cash winnings having kicked him to death.

The three killers of professional poker player Mehmet Hassan celebrating his cash winnings having kicked him to death.

29 year old Nicholas Chandler and 28 year old Kyrron Jackson, have been found guilty of murdering 56-year-old professional gambler Mehmet Hassan for his winnings.

25 year old care assistant Leonie-Marie Granger has been found guilty of manslaughter for playing the role of honeytrap.

After pretending to be his willing girlfriend she left his flat leaving the door open so that Chandler and Jackson were able to burst in, wrap him in parcel tape, and kick him to death for his winnings.

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Chandler started shouting abuse and attacking a dock security officer when a victim impact statement was being read out.

The dramatic and distressing scenes were live Tweeted by the longstanding court reporting news agency @CourtNewsUK

Leonie-Marie Granger’s role as bait started with deliberate targeting of Mehmet Hassan at Mayfair casinos when on a good night he was known to win £15,000.

Leonie Granger- how she looked as she 'honey-trapped' her professional gambler victim. Image: Met Police

Leonie-Marie Granger- how she looked as she ‘honey-trapped’ her professional gambler victim. Image: Met Police

The court heard she dressed in a strapless top, tight-fitting black trousers, high heels and a large gold necklace and was spotted by a poker supervisor kissing Hassan ‘passionately’ who told the pair to ‘get a room.’

On 24th March last year she joined Mr Hassan at the Palm Beach Casino and after spending time at the restaurant and in the casino returned to his flat in Baxter Road, Islington.

Chandler and Jackson went in after she took a taxi to Lewisham.

A taxi driver heard her animated on her mobile and saying at one point: ‘don’t tell me the money’s not there – I saw it!.’

The jury was also presented the evidence of a video clip filmed by the defendants shortly after Mr Hassan had died.

They can be seen literally throwing the victim’s money around with Jackson wearing a gas mask and stuffing a fist full of notes into his underpants.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command said:

Mehmet Hassan was lured into a ‘honey trap’ by Leonie Granger, having been targeted for his affable nature and success at the casino tables. Granger realised Mr Hassan kept significant quantities of cash in his flat and cooked up a plan to rob him with her associates Nicholas Chandler and Kyrron Jackson.

The violence inflicted on Mehmet Hassan was horrific and it appears from the comments made by Granger, and overheard by the taxi driver on the night of the murder, that the gang were intent on finding that cash, whatever the cost. People who knew Mehmet Hassan – his family, friends and associates – described him as a likeable and generous man. His death was senseless, motivated by the greed of three people who exploited his generosity in the most callous manner imaginable.

 

Hassan Gunay, the nephew of Mehmet Hassan, said:

We have endured immense pain and despair from the moment that we discovered Mehmet had been brutally murdered. This will continue to haunt us for the rest of our lives. Mehmet was a kind gentle man who was loved by all of his family and friends. His warmth and love for life blessed us all.

Mehmet was very generous and he would help his family and friends without question. He will be dearly missed by us all and he will never be forgotten. Although nothing will ever replace Mehmet this just verdict provides an element of closure and relief that the callous perpetrators have been brought to justice and removed from our streets.

We are eternally grateful to the police and the prosecution team whom have worked tirelessly to gain justice for my uncle and our family. We would never have been able to cope with this tragic loss without their support.

Reaction to the guilty verdicts outside the Central Criminal Court from DCI Andy Partridge and Hassan Gunay is included in this BBC News report. 

All three defendants have been remanded in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

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