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Man jailed over Derren Brown's blank cheque thefts

Derren Brown
Image caption Brown's manager kept signed blank cheques for emergencies

A man convicted of cashing more than £33,000 worth of cheques stolen from illusionist Derren Brown has been jailed for 16 months.

Bernard Ayanbanjo, 48, was given the cheques by Brown's cleaner, who was jailed earlier this month for the same amount of time.

Ayanbanjo, of Waverley Road, Woolwich, was found guilty of two counts of fraud in September.

He received concurrent jail terms of 16 months, at Southwark Crown Court.

Ayanbanjo took the cheques, worth £21,550.35 and £11,500, from cleaner Rocio Pavon-Navarrete, 47, and paid them into his own bank account between October and December 2010.

The cheques were signed by Brown's manager, James Cooper, but left blank and stored at the TV trickster's home in Baker Street, central London.

The blank cheques were kept to be used by an assistant while the illusionist and his manager were away from the city on business, the court heard.

Pavon-Navarrete, of Bardsley Lane, Greenwich, was jailed last week for stealing the cheques. She pleaded guilty in September to one charge of theft.

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