A woman who lured a wealthy gambler to his death in a ‘honeytrap’ killing was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment today at the Old Bailey.
25 year old Leonie-Marie Granger from Gillingham was found guilty of manslaughter for her part in the killing of 56 year old Mehmet Hassan in Islington last year.
Earlier this month, Nicholas Chandler and Kyyron Jackson were found guilty of imprisoning and murdering Mr Hassan for his winnings.
They each received life sentences with a minimum recommendation they serve 37 years behind bars.
London Multimedia News reporter Tayo Popoola was at the Old Bailey:
The court heard how Granger had conspired with Chandler and Jackson to use her as bait to lead Mr Hassan into a trap and steal money from him.
Father of three Mr Hassan was well-known customer at high-end casinos in central London and was targeted by Granger around a month before his murder.
He appeared to believe the relationship to be genuine, having confided in a friend that he had met Granger and was intending to see her again, unaware as he was of her intentions.
The pair were in contact throughout March, going to a casino together on the 15th of March where Mr Hassan cashed in £1,900 casino chips before they left and went to his flat together.
The following weekend the pair went to the Palm Beach Casino in Mayfair where at the end of the evening Mr Hassan cashed in a significant amount of chips, believed to be from around £2000 to £3000. He and Granger then left to go to his flat around 12.15 AM.
Unbeknownst to Mr Hassan, Granger had been secretly communicating with Chandler and Jackson and the two men were waiting for her signal to join her at his flat in Islington, where they arrived around 12.50 AM.
Granger left the address in a taxi around 25 minutes later and the driver noted she was on the phone throughout her journey back to Lewisham. At times Granger appeared quite animated, with the driver remembering she said things like ‘don’t tell me the money’s not there – I saw it!’
Shortly after 2 AM, a car associated with Jackson was captured on CCTV leaving the area around Mr Hassan’s home.
Police were called late on Monday 24th March after concerns were raised for Mr Hassan’s welfare who had not made contact with his family. When officers forced entry to his home they found him in the bedroom with his legs bound, where it was clear he had suffered significant injuries from an assault.
It was later discovered he had died of injuries to his neck and chest.
Granger, Jackson and Chandler were identified and arrested on 28 March.
When officers searched Jackson’s address they discovered £2,500 in £50 notes which Jackson claimed had come from a necklace he had pawned recently, although the pawnbrokers had no knowledge of such a transaction. Granger and Chandler refused to comment throughout police interviews.
The jury deciding the verdict for Jackson and Chandler was shown a video clip filmed by the defendants shortly after Mr Hassan had died.
They can be seen throwing the victim’s money around with Jackson wearing a gas mask and stuffing a fist full of notes into his underwear.
All three were charged with the murder of Mr Hassan on 30 March.
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.