Man who murdered pensioner detained at psychiatric hospital

Failed asylum seeker who murdered pensioner, 87, in act of ‘appalling brutality’ after she took him into her home and treated him ‘like a grandson’ is detained at a psychiatric hospital but spared deportation to Iran

  • Three forensic psychiatrists agreed Darvish-Narenjbon has schizophrenia
  • The Iranian national lived with Brenda Blainey in Yorkshire who he met in 2013

A failed asylum seeker who killed an elderly woman that ‘treated him like a grandson’ in an act of ‘appalling brutality’ has been detained indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital.

Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon, 34, was befriended by 87-year-old Brenda Blainey when she met him in a Leeds restaurant in 2013 and he went to live with her in the picturesque village of Thornton-le-Dale.

But on January 5 last year, the Iranian national strangled Mrs Blainey before smashing her head on the kitchen floor, stabbing her in the chest and cutting her throat.

Judge Rodney Jameson KC said: ‘You killed Brenda Blainey is her own home in circumstances of appalling brutality’.

He said Mrs Blainey was likely placing a grocery order on the phone to the village shop when Darvish-Narenjbon launched his attack.

Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon who has been sentenced today at Leeds Crown Court after he killed Brenda Blainey who had given him a room in her home to live in

But the judge said: ‘You have never given, and have never been capable of giving, a full account of what you did.’

Sentencing the defendant at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Jameson said three consultant forensic psychiatrists agreed Darvish-Narenjbon has schizophrenia and his ‘retained responsibility’ for the killing is ‘low’.

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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.’

The judge said he is satisfied the defendant poses a ‘risk to members of the public of serious harm’ and is capable of ‘homicidal violence’ while in psychosis.

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

The court was told he was born in Tehran but has mainly lived in the UK since he was 15, although he stayed for a period in the US, where he spent time in a psychiatric unit.

His permission to remain in the UK expired in 2015 and his application for asylum was unsuccessful, as was his appeal against the refusal to allow him to stay.

He had exhausted all appeal options by 2017, but submitted another asylum claim in 2020 – which was outstanding at the time of the killing.

Sentencing the defendant at Leeds Crown Court (pictured), Judge Jameson said three consultant forensic psychiatrists agreed Darvish-Narenjbon has schizophrenia and his ‘retained responsibility’ for the killing is ‘low’

According to a Government source, he could not be removed from the UK between 2017 and 2020 – when he lodged the second claim – because there was not a returns agreement in place with Iran.

The judge said on Wednesday: ‘Given the situation in Iran, however, you will not presently be considered for deportation.’

Earlier this week, prosecutors said Darvish-Narenjbon, who was a student in Leeds, met Mrs Blainey at Carluccio’s restaurant in 2013 and she offered him a room in her home, also letting him use a study and car.

Their friendship was characterised as a ‘grandma-grandson relationship’ and they spoke regularly while he was away studying in Leeds, the court heard.

Mrs Blainey even attended his masters degree graduation.

Darvish-Narenjbon, formerly of Tinshill Lane, Cookridge, Leeds, appeared in court by video-link from Rampton high security special hospital wearing a grey sweatshirt as members of Mrs Blainey’s family watched in the court room.

The judge ordered him to be detained at Rampton ‘without limit of time’.

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