UK: Failed asylum seeker murdered pensioner who took him in

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

A failed Iranian asylum seeker will be sentenced on Wednesday after brutally murdering a frail 87-year-old woman who took him into her home in the English county of North Yorkshire.

Pensioner Brenda Blainey was found dead in her home in the village of Thornton-le-Dale on Jan. 5 last year.

On Monday, Leeds Crown Court heard how Iranian national Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon, who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, strangled her before smashing her head on the kitchen floor of her home, stabbing her in the chest, and slitting her throat.

Nicholas Lumley, prosecuting, told the court how the frail victim had taken in her killer 9 years prior, back in 2013 when they first met at a restaurant in Leeds. She offered him a room in her home and described their relationship as one of “grandma-grandson.”

“She provided him with food and other home comforts as he was studying in Leeds,” said Lumley, who added the victim had also attended Darvish-Narenjbon’s graduation and had provided him with a car.

The court heard how on Jan. 5, Mrs. Blainey had called the local village shop to place an order when the line went dead. The shopkeeper attempted to return Mrs. Blainey’s call several times to no avail, and when the shopkeeper’s husband went round to check on her, he was met by a police cordon.

Darvish-Narenjbon himself had called the police, telling authorities he had come downstairs to find his surrogate grandmother in a pool of blood.

“I just came downstairs and found my grandmother on the hard floor. She’s got blood everywhere and I don’t know,” the Iranian national told a police call handler.

The court later heard from a forensic psychiatrist who had made a report after spending time with Darvish-Narenjbon. The failed asylum seeker had spoken of delusions, and it was clear his mental health had significantly deteriorated.

The court heard that Darvish-Narenjbon saw a red button on the TV, which he subsequently pressed and received a “license” to harm and kill Brenda Blainey.

Darvish-Narenjbon was initially charged with murder, which he denied; he later admitted to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, which was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The killer appeared in court via video link from the high-security Ramptom Hospital where he has been held since May last year.

Prosecuting counsel told the court that Tehran-born Darvish-Narenjbon has resided in the U.K. since he was 15. He had also lived briefly in the United States where he spent time inside a psychiatric unit.

The defendant’s permission to remain in the U.K. expired back in 2015. He subsequently applied for asylum, which was turned down, as was his appeal against the Home Office decision.

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