Lucy Casey found guilty of Hannah Leonard murder on Chalcots estate
Kilburn woman gets 22 years for murder while co-defendant walks free after jury verdict
12 November, 2018 — By Tom Foot
A WOMAN was jailed for 22 years today for murdering a mother in her home on the Chalcots estate.
Lucy Casey, 44, was convicted at the Old Bailey today (Monday) of the “brutal attack” on Hannah Leonard, 55, in her tenth floor flat in Bray, Swiss Cottage.
James Whitaker, 29, who had also been on trial for murder, walked free after being acquitted by the jury.
The two co-defendants – who were captured on CCTV entering the flat with Ms Leonard and leaving together roughly three hours later – had blamed each other.
Mr Whitaker, from Kensal Rise, told the court he was hiding inside the toilet while the murder took place while Ms Casey, from Shoot-Up Hill, claimed she was asleep and woke up to find Mr Whitaker standing over Ms Leonard’s corpse.
Sally-Anne Russell, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a brutal attack on a vulnerable woman inside her own home by someone who was known to her. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to her body.
“Only Casey knows exactly what happened and why Hannah was killed. She showed no remorse throughout the trial and denied any involvement, but she was linked to the crime scene by forensic evidence and CCTV footage which showed her entering and leaving the building with some of Hannah Leonard’s belongings.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Hannah Leonard. We hope this conviction provides some level of comfort to them.”
The court had heard how Ms Leonard and Ms Casey’s blood was found on a kitchen knife and pair of scissors left in the flat. Ms Casey was also captured on CCTV leaving the flat wearing Ms Leonard’s coat and holding her “distinctive red handbag”. Ms Casey’s ID was found in her jacket that had been left in the flat and when she was arrested her shoes were found to have specks of blood on. Ms Leonard’s legs, stomach, face and neck contained more than 40 stab wounds, the court had heard.
Her head also had print marks consistent with the sole of a shoe, the court had heard.
Mr Whitaker’s footprint was found in a pool of blood but there was no other DNA evidence linking him to the attack.
Ms Leonard had been drinking with Mr Whitaker and Ms Casey in the Sir Colin Campbell pub in Kilburn High Road on February 5. The court had heard the three were not considered to be friends.
After a drunken argument that saw the police called to the pub, they stopped to pick up some fried chicken before getting a cab back to the flat. The body was discovered by a painter working on the outside of the tower block.