Published: 13:00, 01 April 2015
A former Gillingham schoolgirl accused of luring a father-of-three to his death said she was blinded by love for her boyfriend and fellow defendant.
Care worker Leonie Granger has denied the murder of professional gambler Mehmet Hassan at his London home last year.
Mr Hassan’s body was found on March 24 last year after a relative contacted the police. He had been tied up and kicked to death.
Orlando Pownall QC, for Granger, said in his closing speech at the Old Bailey that Granger was “smitten” with fellow defendant Kyrron Jackson.
He said: “We suggest Granger was in his thrall, as no doubt many women had been in the past. He’s articulate and persuasive.
“He chose not to show the full nature and extent of his criminal activity. Was she swept up and manipulated?”
He said Jackson and co-defendant Nicholas Chandler can appear to be charming but “when acting in tandem they can beguile and corrupt”.
Former Upbury Manor pupil Granger, 25, of Balmoral Road, met Mr Hassan, 56, in February 2014 at the Palm Beach Casino in Mayfair. Mr Hassan treated her to dinner at a top restaurant, bought champagne and gave her stake money.
But the dates were part of a plot allegedly hatched by Jackson and Chandler, both 28, to rob Mr Hassan.
Granger said in evidence she had planned to rob Mr Hassan but left the flat on the night he died to avoid having sex with him.
It is said she asked Mr Hassan to call her a taxi at 1.30am, and saw Chandler with another man waiting on the landing outside the flat as she left but was unable to say whether or not it was Jackson.
Granger said they got a total of £3,000 from Mr Hassan and mobile phone footage shows her apparently laughing as Jackson and Chandler allegedly threw stolen £50 notes around as Mr Hassan lay dead in his flat.
She denied knowing Jackson and Chandler were planning an attack.
The jury was due to go out shortly to consider its verdict, but a juror has fallen ill.
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