A professional poker player was allegedly murdered by associates of a gold digger he had gotten into a relationship with. The gold digger, 25-year-old Leonie Granger, and the 56-year-old poker pro were seen kissing at West End Casino a few hours before the murder.
Jurors at the Old Bailey court heard how Mehmat Hassan, the poker player, was tied up in his own flat at Islington in North London and kicked to death in a cruel way. A few hours before his death, he had taken Miss Granger to his place. Investigators later found a video clip on Granger’s phone showing the killers celebrating with “bundles of £50 notes” and stuffing them into their underpants.
Granger, along with Kyrron Jackson, her boyfriend, and Nicholas Chandler, the boyfriend’s friend has been accused on counts of false imprisonment and murder. Jackson and Chandler are both 28 years old.
Crispin Aylett QC said while opening the case: “When Miss Granger was arrested, the police seized her mobile phone. It appears that she had attempted to delete much of the incriminating material stored in that telephone. Nonetheless, among the items that have survived is a piece of film which appears to have been recorded on the morning of Monday 24 March. Miss Granger, Jackson, and Chandler can each be seen holding bundles of £50 notes. At one point Chandler is spraying £50 notes all over the floor while Jackson is stuffing £50 notes into his underpants.”
The murderers were throwing Hassan’s money around in his own flat, right in front of his dead body.
Hassan used to win up to £15,000 in one gaming session. Instead of saving his winnings in a bank account, he would keep them in his flat. He loved playing at the Playboy Casino and the Palm Beach Casino. Aylett says that he was fond of being around women, a fact that made him an easy prey to gold diggers.
The court heard that Hassan would arrive at casinos with attractive female companions, and even if he arrived alone, he would soon make friends with a woman.
According to the prosecutor, Granger and Hassan first met in February 2014 at Palm Beach Casino. On March 15, she visited his flat. However, Granger was interested in Hassan only for his money, which was how he ended up getting murdered in his own flat.
Granger, Jackson, and Chandler say that they are not guilty.