Search

Chalcots murder trial: Defendants blame each other for Hannah Leonard’s death as court told street fight CCTV is ‘virtual trailer’ for killing

PUBLISHED: 12:52 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 09 November 2018

Hannah Leonard

Hannah Leonard

Archant

Lawyers clashed as two defendants accused of the murder of Hannah Leonard, 55, turned on each other at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

James Whitaker, 29, claims to have played no part in the killing of Ms Leonard, who lived in Bray Tower on the Chalcots Estate, and his barrister argued CCTV shown earlier in the trial of co-defendant Lucy Casey turning violent in the street was a “unique prediction” of what would occur in Ms Leonard’s flat, where prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC argue she was stabbed up to forty times.

Representing Whitaker, John Cooper QC also told the jury there was “absolutely no incriminating forensic evidence against him”.

Mr Cooper contrasted this with the case against Casey. He told the jury: “You may absolutely conclude that Lucy Casey stamped on the face of Hannah Leonard. There are the wavy marks on Hannah Leonard’s face.”

He reminded the jury of expert testimony earlier in the case which affirmed the footprints left on Hannah Leonard’s body could only have come from the trainers of Lucy Casey or Hannah Leonard herself.

“It shows she is capable of stamping on someone’s face, what level of brutality makes a human being stamp on someone’s face?”

Casey, of Claire Court in Kilburn, and Whitaker, 28, of Chamberlayne Road in Kensal Rise are accused of the killing which took place on the night of February 5 to 6 this year.

Defending Casey, 43, Mr Henry Blaxland QC said: “Mr Whitaker is somebody who regularly carried a knife, and it is only a matter of time before he carried out the threats he had so regularly made to others.

“He was well are of his own danger to others and he knew what he was capable of doing.”

“Other than what the two defendants say about each other there’s no direct evidence in this case about how Hannah Leonard came to be killed.

“No motive has been convincingly established for Lucy Casey to have killed Hannah Leonard, and the forensic evidence does not solve the problem for you.”

Earlier this week, Casey claimed to have slept through the attack, only to awake with Whitaker stood above the dying victim.

Whitaker however claimed to have been hiding in the toilet during the violence.

Mr Cooper said his client was “a pathetic man”, but added: “There’s a wealth of evidence showing that he [Whitaker] was not responsible for this and basic logic says it has to have been Ms Casey.”

Referring to CCTV of Casey fighting in the street with ex-partner Wayne Dillon on the evening shown to the jury earlier this week, he told the court: “You are in the unique position of having a virtual trailer of what happened later based on what happened outside of the Sir Colin Campbell pub.”

“On that CCTV you see the violence – the punching and the spitting. You see a woman [Casey] looking for trouble when crossed and unwilling to walk away.”

He argued her previous conviction for GBH was also precedent for the “brutality” of Hannah Leonard’s death.

This morning the judge was expected to sum up the case before sending the jury out to deliberate.

The trial continues.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Friday, November 16, 2018

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now