According to the UK’s Daily Mail, three people have been arrested and charged with the murder of Mehmet Hassan, a London poker player. Hassan was found dead in his London home and is believed to be the victim of a "honey trap" where a victim of a premeditated burglary is set up by a member of the opposite sex.
Hassan won £3,000 playing poker at the Palm Beach Casino Club and was later seen with an unknown female at the Nobu Restaurant having dinner. The woman has been identified by officials as 24-year-old Leonie Granger. Granger is believed to have conspired with two accomplices who would be waiting when she lured Hassan to his apartment with the intention of robbing him.
Granger, who is a professional healthcare assistant, was arrested by the Scotland Yard murder squad detectives at her home in Gillingham, Kent, last month. Nicholas Chandler, 28, and Kyrron Jackson, 27, were also arrested and charged with murder. All three of the suspects appeared in front of Magistrate Claire Freedman at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London.
Hassan's body was found after his daughter called police when he failed to answer the door of his flat. Hassan was believed to have at least £20,000 in cash on hand.
Hassan's best friend, poker player and author Andrew "Giddy" Perendes reports that all three suspects have pled not guilty and are due at the Old Bailey around September. All three defendants are in custody and will appear for a preliminary hearing on June 28th.
"Yesterday one of my boyhood friends Mehmet Hassan was found battered to death in his flat. Guys that knew Mehmet as well as I did would swear that with his brainpower, wit and salesman's patter he could have made a living doing anything he wanted, but what Mehmet really wanted was to live on his wits,” Perendes told PokerNews.com upon learning of his friend's death. “He was a kind of Robin Hood character that especially liked taking from the rich bit. Damon Runyon would have loved him. Whether he was telling stories of his rather colorful life, playing backgammon or Kalooki with some poor bastard, or having a laugh with the lads in the poker game, he was pure box office. When Mehmet was in full flight, nobody went home. He was just the funniest guy in town. RIP my friend."
According to Perendes the police have not released Hassan’s body due to the ongoing investigation. It could be up to five to six weeks before his body will be released for his funeral.
A £200 tournament at the exclusive Mayfair Casino the Palm Beach in memory of Hassan was held on Thursday, April 24th.. The event was capped at 30 players and half the prize pool went to Hassan’s family to help pay for funeral costs.
Image courtesy of Metropolitan Police Service.