Irish granny Hannah Leonard was 'brutally murdered by her own drinking companions' after leaving London pub, Old Bailey told
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Irish granny Hannah Leonard was 'brutally murdered by her own drinking companions' after leaving London pub, Old Bailey told

THE trial of a man and a woman charged with the murder of Irish grandmother Hannah Leonard in London has been told that they stabbed her to death after a night out drinking with her at a pub.

Ms Leonard, 55, originally from Cork, was found brutally murdered inside her 10th floor flat in Bray Tower on the Chalcots Estate, Camden on February 9 this year.

Her body was discovered on the floor of her kitchen by a worker who spotted her through a window while painting the exterior of the tower block.

The mother-of-one had been out drinking days earlier on February 5 with Lucy Casey, 43, of Claire Court in Kilburn, and James Whitaker, 28, of Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise.

The trio had met at the Sir Colin Campbell pub on Kilburn High Road and were spotted returning to Bray Tower after exiting a taxi at around 11.45pm.

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It is alleged that Casey and Whitaker knifed Ms Leonard in the face, neck, chest and stomach a short time later in the early hours of February 6.

Casey's blood was found on the kitchen knife used in the attack, the Old Bailey heard.

Ms Leonard was a popular and well-liked resident of Bray Tower in Chalcot's Estate (Image: Caroline Snowling)

Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse, QC, said: "Lucy Casey and James Whitaker had been out drinking with her and all three returned to Ms Leonard's flat; only two of them ever left.

"They left Ms Leonard dead, or dying, on the floor of her kitchen. There are only three eye witnesses as to what happened in the flat that night and one of them is dead - the other two are in the dock on trial for her murder.

"There does not appear to be any dispute that Hannah Leonard was killed while she was in their company.

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"The question for you to consider would appear to be what part, if any, each of them played in the attack which killed Hannah Leonard."

The jury also heard that Ms Leonard, who moved to London in the 1980s, had Huntington’s Disease and found it difficult to control her moods when she drank to excess.

The grandmother was found dead in the kitchen of her 10th floor flat in Bray Tower (Image: Getty)

A controller at nearby AC Cars confirmed Ms Leonard and her alleged killers had been inebriated when they hired their cab back to the flat.

Casey was arrested on February 11 after police found her Superdry jacket at the scene of the killing with her ID still in the pocket.

CCTV footage showed Casey and Whitaker leaving Bray Tower at 2.51am on February 6 with Ms Leonard's handbag but it was never recovered.

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After her arrest, Casey was found to be in possession of the victim's coat and had injuries to two fingers and a thumb.

Whitaker was arrested on the same day. Both deny murder.

Speaking to The Irish Post after her mother's death, Ms Leonard's daughter Caroline Snowling remembered her as "a true Irish lady" who doted on her grandsons, aged six and 15.

"We had just arrived on holiday when my phone rang at 9.28pm. It was a policeman, and I knew straight away it wasn't good news," she said.

"He told me that mum had been murdered in her own flat, stabbed multiple times to the face and body, and had been beaten black and blue. They completely killed every part of my mum."

The trial continues.