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Couple stole £282,000 from Harleston woman, court hears

PUBLISHED: 08:08 30 September 2015 | UPDATED: 08:29 01 October 2015

Nadia Dervish and Michael Kenevan after leaving King's Lynn Crown Court. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Nadia Dervish and Michael Kenevan after leaving King's Lynn Crown Court. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015

A couple stole more than £282,000 from an elderly woman they befriended and used the cash to buy a motor home, a Mini and to pay off their mortgage, a court heard.

Nadia Dervish and Michael Kenevan after leaving King's Lynn Crown Court. Picture: Matthew Usher.Nadia Dervish and Michael Kenevan after leaving King's Lynn Crown Court. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Nadia Dervish, 48, and partner Michael Kenevan, 54, also persuaded Peggy Byford, who was in her 90s and suffering from dementia, to change her will.

Dervish has denied one count of wilful neglect and seven charges of theft with Kenevan.

King’s Lynn Crown Court heard yesterday that Dervish started working as a cleaner for Mrs Byford and her husband Don, at their home in Harleston, more than a decade ago.

They became friends and the couple wanted them to benefit financially when they died.

When Mr Byford died his widow became more dependent on the couple, who both live in The Street, Alburgh, near Harleston.

As well as cleaning her home, they would look after her garden, and act as companions. Mrs Byford was also receiving help from care staff.

Dervish was given lasting power of attorney and in 2011, persuaded Mrs Byford to change her will in the couple’s favour, the court heard.

Over a five-year period Mrs Byford signed cheques worth about £282,000 to the couple, which were cashed. Mrs Byford died in 2014.

Giving evidence earlier in the trial, Dervish said that Mrs Byford was very generous, and wanted them to benefit from her will, and Mr Kenevan said in interview he did not think they were being dishonest.

The case was brought to the police’s attention by Mrs Byford’s friends who were suspicious of the couple’s wealth, and they were arrested in December 2013. The trial continues.


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