Thornton-le-Dale (also called Thornton Dale) is a picture postcard village in North Yorkshire. With a population of less than 2,000, the nearest sizable town is Pickering, approximately 3 miles away. Dalby Forest is also nearby. The village has an ancient market cross, stocks on the village green and a beck running through it.
The highlights of the year in Thornton-le-Dale are the Spring Gala, the Thornton Show and the Flower, Scarecrow Festival and Produce Show in August. A Harvest Festival is held in September. It has been described as the prettiest village in Yorkshire.
The well-to-do village, where houses can cost up to £500,000, is one of those increasingly rare places where the realities of mass immigration and multi-culturalism seem a million miles away. To many of the locals, knife crime, street gangs and sexual grooming are something that happens in the big cities like Leeds.
No doubt to many of the inhabitants of Thornton-le-Dale, the ‘refugees’ coming across the Channel in dinghy’s are genuine asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution and who deserve help. One such person was 87-year-old Brenda Blainey. In 2013 she met Iranian national Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon in a restaurant in Leeds where he worked.
She offered him a room in her home in Thornton-le-Dale and took pride in describing their relationship as one of “grandma-grandson.” In addition to the room, she had provided him with food, a car, and had attended his graduation in the 9 years he lived with her. Darvish-Narenjbon’s permission to remain in the UK expired back in 2015. He subsequently applied for asylum, which was turned down, as was his appeal against the Home Office decision.
On January 5 last year, the Iranian national killed Ms Blainey after strangling her and smashing her head on the kitchen floor. He then stabbed her in the chest and cut her throat in what was described as an act of “appalling brutality”. 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 admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and appeared in court via video link from the high-security Rampton Hospital where he has been held since May last year. Judge Rodney Jameson KC ordered that Darvish-Narenjbon be detained indefinitely at a secure hospital.
Incredibly, the judge also decided that the killer would not be deported back to Iran given the political tensions in that country. Ms Blainey was probably ordering her shopping over the phone to the local village shop when she was attacked, the judge added.
Main Image: Pinterest.
Shahin Darvish-Narenjbon: Image from North Yorkshire Police.
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