England

Poker player Mehmet Hassan 'killed for winnings'

Mehmet Hassan Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Mehmet Hassan was found at a property in Baxter Road

A professional poker player was killed for his winnings after being lured into a honey trap by a young woman, a court has heard.

Mehmet Hassan, 56, was bound with parcel tape and a neck tie and then kicked and stamped to death in his north London flat in March 2014.

The court was told the attackers then ransacked his Islington home after care assistant Leonie Granger let them in.

Mr Hassan met Miss Granger at a Mayfair casino the month before, jurors heard.

'Cash in pants'

While he lay dead Miss Granger, 25, of Gillingham, Kent, and her accomplices were filmed on her mobile phone throwing £50 notes around and stuffing wads in underpants, the court heard.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said: "While Mr Hassan's body lay undetected in his flat, his killers were literally throwing his money around."

Miss Granger is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murder and false imprisonment, which she denies.

Her boyfriend Kyrron Jackson, of Romborough Way, Lewisham, and his friend Nicholas Chandler, of Lee High Road, south-east London, both 28, are further accused of robbing Mr Hassan.

They are also accused of two counts of plotting to rob employees of Grosvenor Casinos, two counts of conspiracy to have a shotgun and imitation firearm, and two counts of conspiracy to falsely imprison.

They also deny the charges against them.

Mr Hassan was described as a professional gambler who sometimes won as much as £15,000 at a time.

The divorced father-of-three also "enjoyed the company of women", making him "vulnerable to the unscrupulous", Mr Aylett said.

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Media captionThe group were filmed throwing £50 notes around and stuffing cash in their underpants

'Ruthless greed'

He told the court: "The truth, sadly, is that Miss Granger was not interested in Mehmet Hassan for anything other than his money. And that is how Mehmet Hassan came to be tied up and kicked to death in his own flat."

The court heard on the evening of 23 March, Miss Granger met the victim for a drink before going on to the Palm Beach Casino, Mayfair, where they were seen kissing passionately.

They left before midnight and went back to Mr Hassan's flat. About half an hour later, Mr Hassan booked a minicab, which took Miss Granger to an address in Lewisham.

The court was told the cab driver overheard her on her phone exclaiming: "Swear down. I don't believe it. Don't tell me the money's not there. I saw it. Look in the drawer. Look under the cabinet."

The jury was told she was speaking to someone using Mr Hassan's phone, suggesting it was one of her conspirators who had planned to go to the flat and overpower Mr Hassan.

His body was found by police on the evening of 24 March after his sister became concerned about his welfare.

The prosecutor told the jury that Mr Hassan's death was the "culmination of the ruthless greed" of Mr Jackson and Mr Chandler, who had been involved in two armed robberies at the same casino in South Kensington in January and February 2014.

The trial continues.

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