A woman has been jailed after being found guilty of the murder of 55-year-old Hannah Leonard in Camden.

Appearing at the Old Bailey yesterday (Monday, 12 November), Lucy Casey, 44 (30.10.74) of Kilburn, Brent, was found unanimously guilty of killing Hannah Leonard, a mother and grandmother. She was also sentenced on the same day to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 22 years.

James Whitaker, 29 (03.06.89), also from Kilburn, was found not guilty of murder.

The court heard that at around 10:30hrs on Friday, 9 February, decorators working on the outside of Bray Tower, Fellows Road, NW3 came to an open window. On pushing it shut they noticed a body on the floor of a flat.

Police and London Ambulance Service (LAS) were called and made their way up to Flat 73 on the 10th floor.

The front door to the property was unlocked and emergency services were able to push it open.

They went in and found the body of Hannah Leonard on the kitchen floor. LAS confirmed that she had likely been there for a number of days.

Four days previously (Monday, 5 February) at about 17:50hrs, Hannah left Bray Tower using the exit on Adelaide Road and withdrew £100 cash from a supermarket before returning to her flat.

She left her flat again at about 18:10hrs.

At 22:00hrs, Hannah was seen in the Sir Colin Campbell pub, in Kilburn High Road, less than two miles from her home address.

By this point, she had met up with Lucy Casey and shortly after 22:00hrs the two of them left the pub. A few minutes later, James Whitaker arrived followed by a friend of Casey’s.

An argument broke out between Casey and her male friend in which she slapped him twice across the face and threw an object at him.

Police arrived and found Casey shouting at her friend. Officers calmed the situation and sent Casey, Whitaker and Hannah on their way in one direction and Casey’s friend in another.

At 23:30hrs, Hannah, Whitaker and Casey took a taxi to Hannah’s address and CCTV showed the three of them enter the elevator at 23:44hrs. This was the last time Hannah was seen alive.

At 02:51hrs, Whitaker and Casey were captured on CCTV exiting the lift on the ground floor and leaving the block. This time, Casey was wearing the coat that Hannah had been wearing all evening and was carrying Hannah’s red handbag.

When officers and LAS entered the flat, a bloodied knife was found on the kitchen counter as were a pair of bloodstained scissors.

Both weapons had Hannah’s blood on the blades. Officers also found traces of Casey’s blood on the handles of both weapons as well as the tip of the knife.

Detectives also found Casey’s ‘Superdry’ jacket in the living room with her ID in one of the pockets.

A post-mortem held on 12 February gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds. Over 40 wounds were documented to her abdomen, face, neck and torso. Several of the wounds including those to her neck would have been fatal if inflicted in isolation.

Hannah also suffered a number of patterned bruises to her face and body, which suggested that they were caused by impact against a patterned object, such as the sole of a shoe.

Casey was arrested on the morning of Sunday, 11 February at the address of her friend that she had argued with outside of the pub on the day of Hannah’s death.

Hannah’s coat was found on a table in the living room and Casey’s trainers appeared to have been washed, however some light bloodstains were visible on the stitching.

She was taken to a south London police station and seen to by a doctor who noted that she had healing injuries to her right index finger, right middle finger and left thumb.

Whitaker was arrested on the same morning.

Casey declined to answer any questions when interviewed.

On Monday, 12 February, Casey and Whitaker were both charged with the murder of Hannah Leonard and remanded into custody.

Detective Sergeant Colin McKeen, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:

“Hannah left her flat on Monday, 5 February. She met up with Casey and Whitaker who she believed were being friendly towards her.

“Sadly it appears Hannah was the victim of a vicious and sustained attack using bladed implements at the hands of Casey, killing her and leaving her in the flat.

“I hope that Casey’s conviction and sentencing will give Hannah’s family some form of comfort.”

Leave a Reply