Chalcots murder trial: Woman jailed for life for ‘sadistic and brutal’ Hannah Leonard killing

Lucy Casey. Picture: CPS

Lucy Casey. Picture: CPS - Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

Lucy Casey has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the “unbelievably brutal attack” that killed Hannah Leonard.

Hannah Leonard

Hannah Leonard - Credit: Metropolitan Police

There was a shout of “rot in hell” from the public gallery as Casey was sentenced to a “limited term of 22 years” for murdering Hannah Leonard “with an element of sadism” at her home on the night of February 5 to 6.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: “You were in the flat for just under three hours, there was noise of shouting, although I accept not from you or Hannah Leonard.

“I mention that because the violence that was inflicted must have taken considerable time. You stamped on Hannah Leonard’s face. The soles of your shoes left a mark one her face.”

He said she had “55 stab wounds” on her body and added: “I judge that the brutality of this attack is a seriously aggravating feature.

“You were dealing with a woman who was completely vulnerable.”

Casey’s co-defendant James Whitaker was acquitted of the murder, which took place in Ms Leonard’s flat in Bray Tower on the Chalcots Estate.

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Casey had been out socialising and drinking with Ms Leonard at the Sir Colin Campbell pub in Kilburn on the evening of February 5.

Casey, Mr Whitaker and Ms Leonard then returned to the victim’s tenth floor flat. Ms Leonard was then stabbed to death.

Casey and Whitaker were seen on CCTV leaving the flat in Swiss Cottage around three hours later, in the early hours of February 6. Ms Leonard’s body was found by a painter three days later, when he saw her body on the kitchen floor when he painted the outside of the tower.

Sally-Anne Russell, from the CPS, 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.”