Three individuals were found guilty of killing Mehmet Hassan, a professional gambler who was killed in his London home back in March 2014.
The murder occurred after Hassan was lured in by a woman he knew as “Rachel,” who then allowed two other men access to his flat, where he was killed.
But “Rachel” was actually 25-year-old Leonie Granger, who met Hassan in a Mayfair casino shortly before his murder.
On the night of the killing, Hassan took Granger to the Palm Beach Casino and gave her money to gamble with. They then traveled back to Hassan’s Islington flat.
Granger Set Robbery Plot in Motion
But Hassan was unaware that Granger was actually working with her boyfriend, Kyrron Jackson, and his friend, Nicholas Chandler, to set up a plot. She made sure that the duo gained access to the flat before she left.
The two men then tied up Hassan before brutally kicking him to death. Then they tore through his home searching for the money they believed to be stashed in the apartment, as he was known to keep cash in his home, rather than depositing it into a bank account.
Eventually, they found the cash. A video on Granger’s mobile phone showed the three defendants playing with numerous £50 ($74) bills, stuffing them into their pants and throwing them around a room, as well as one pretending to relieve himself on bills scattered across the floor of the flat.
Prosecutors say the video was made after Hassan’s death, while the defense claimed it was actually made four months earlier and was unrelated to the case.
But jurors were convinced that the three defendants were responsible for Hassan’s death, and all three were found guilty. Jackson and Chandler were convicted of murder, while Granger was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter for her role in the crime.
When the verdicts were delivered, Chandler began to swear and lash out in the courtroom, forcing security officers to remove him from the court. Granger admitted to being part of a plan to rob Hassan, but said she had no direct role in the murder, which may have led to her lesser conviction.
Jackson, Chandler Had History of Violent Crime
This was not the first time that Jackson and Chandler had been involved in violent crimes. In January and February of 2014, the pair had been involved in two armed robberies at a South Kensington casino. In each of those cases, victims were tied up and the men carried guns during the robberies.
Hassan was a revered member of the London live casino gambling scene, and was said to regularly play poker at the Palm Beach Casino Club.
“He was a wonderful warm man…and he would gamble on anything,” Hendon Mob founder Ross Boatman told the London Evening Standard after his death. “He loved to gamble and, win or lose, it never affected him. He was always smiling, always upbeat.”
Jackson and Chandler were also convicted on charges of robbery, conspiracy to falsely imprison, and other charges. After the verdicts were read, Judge William Kennedy told the defendants that he expected them to face severe punishments for their crimes.
“You will return here for sentence on Tuesday 28 April,” Kennedy said. “I think you understand you face very significant [time] and immediate custody.”