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Jail for couple who stole £280,000 from elderly victim

PUBLISHED: 23:00 02 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

Nadia Dervish, 48, and her partner Michael Kenevan, 45, also persuaded Peggy Byford, who was in her 90s and suffering from dementia, to change her will in their favour.

Peggy Byford: Picture submittedPeggy Byford: Picture submitted

Sentencing the pair yesterday, Recorder Boothby said: “You are a very dishonest couple.

“Peggy Byford was suffering from dementia and you manipulated GPs and solicitors to take over the finances of an old lady.”

Dervish and Kenevan, from The Street, Alburgh, near Harleston both received three-year prison sentences after being found guilty of six charges of theft by a jury at King’s Lynn Crown Court on Thursday.

Dervish had previously been found guilty of wilful neglect, for which she received an 18-month custodial sentence.

She 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, when Mr Byford died, his widow became more dependent on the couple. As well as cleaning her home, they would look after her garden and act as companions.

Mrs Byford was also receiving help from carers.

Dervish was given lasting power of attorney and, in 2011, persuaded Mrs Byford to change her will in the couple’s favour. Over a five-year period, Mrs Byford signed cheques worth about £280,000 to the couple, which were cashed.

The recorder heard Dervish had no previous convictions. Kenevan had been in trouble with the law for not keeping track of fares while working as a bus driver.

Recorder Boothby paid tribute to the late Brenda Frith, who was among those to have brought Mrs Byford’s circumstances to the police’s attention.

He said: “I must pay tribute to the decency and kindness of Brenda Frith; although she sadly is not with us anymore, her actions directly contrast those of the defendants before us today.

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