'Appalling brutality': Failed asylum seeker who killed woman, 87, in Yorkshire village detained indefinitely in hospital

1 February 2023, 21:29 | Updated: 1 February 2023, 21:31

The killing took place in Thornton-le-Dale, North Yorkshire
The killing took place in Thornton-le-Dale, North Yorkshire. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A failed asylum seeker who killed an elderly woman he lived with in a picturesque North Yorkshire village has been detained indefinitely at a secure hospital.

Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon, 34, was befriended by 87-year-old Brenda Blainey after they met in Carluccio's restaurant in Leeds. He then went to live with Ms Blainey in the village of Thornton-le-Dale.

The pair built up a relationship, with Ms Blainey treating Darvish-Narenjbon "like a grandson", Judge Rodney Jameson KC said on Wednesday.

On January 5 last year, the Iranian national killed Ms Blainey after strangling her and smashing her head on the kitchen floor.

Darvish-Narenjbon then stabbed her in the chest and cut her throat in what has described as an act of "appalling brutality".

Judge Jameson said: "You killed Brenda Blainey in her own home in circumstances of appalling brutality".

Iranian national Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon
Iranian national Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon. Picture: North Yorkshire Police

Ms Blainey was probably ordering her shopping over the phone to the local village shop when she was attacked, the judge added.

He said: "You have never given, and have never been capable of giving, a full account of what you did."

Three forensic psychiatrists said Darvish-Narenjbon has schizophrenia and his "retained responsibility" for the killing is "low".

The judge told him: "I want to make it clear both to you and to the family of Brenda Blainey that this is not to say that your responsibility is extinguished. It is not.

"You remain, albeit to a low degree, responsible for the dreadful death of Mrs Blainey and for the grief and suffering that this has caused to her friends and family."

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Darvish-Narenjbon admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at a previous hearing.

It is understood he was born in Tehran and has lived in the UK since he was 15. He is believed to have arrived in the UK in 2005 and claimed asylum in 2013 after his student visa expired.

His claim was refused and subsequent appeals were also unsuccessful, as was a separate claim he made in 2020. This was outstanding at the time of Mrs Blainey's killing.

Thornton-le-dale, North Yorkshire (stock image)
Thornton-le-dale, North Yorkshire (stock image). Picture: Alamy

The judge decided that he would not be deported back to Iran given the political tensions in the country.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Foreign national offenders who exploit our system and commit crimes here in the UK will face the full force of the law, including deportation at the earliest opportunity for those eligible.

"The Government is committed to stopping abuse of the immigration system, taking decisive action against those who try to play the system."