Woman ‘broken’ by abusive conman husband jailed for £1m fraud takes her own life
A young woman took her own life after years of abuse by a convicted fraudster who was violent and harboured a secret second wife, an inquest heard.
Daniela Stepien was found dead at her home on August 8 last year, following years of abuse by her husband “Jonny”, the hearing was told.
Now Daniela’s grieving sister Samanta has spoken for the first time of the family’s heartbreak.
Known by his aliases Jonny or Raja Rez, 41, and formerly known as Rezwan Javed, he was jailed with his brother Rehan Javed after a £1 million fraud case in 2013.
Assistant Coroner Michael Williams heard evidence at the inquest last month that Jonny had been violent towards 28-year-old Daniela, used her home to grow cannabis plants in, and stole money from her.
Daniela was found dead in her home in August last year (
Mum of one Samanta, 30, from Nelson, Lancashire, says: “My sister was beautiful, hardworking and intelligent. She had her whole life ahead of her yet Jonny controlled her and broke her down until she was a shadow of the person she had been.
“It was so painful watching her fade away like that. I did my best to make her see what he was, but she was under his control.”
The two sisters, originally from Poland, came to the UK ten years ago and we were very close.
Samanta says: “I was two years older, and so Daniela was always borrowing my clothes and make-up; we bickered lots when we were little. But as we got older, we were best friends. We saw each other every day.
“Daniela was really hard-working, she had two jobs, and she was at college, studying accountancy. She was beautiful, really glamorous. She loved the gym and she liked motorbikes too.
‘Jonny’ or Raja Rez, 41, and formerly known as Rezwan Javed, was violent and controlling towards Daniela (
“She was on the TV show, ‘In for a Penny,’ and she loved that. She was full of fun.”
In October 2019, Daniela met Raja Rez, known as Jonny, who was thirteen years her senior.
Samanta says; “I had doubts about Jonny immediately. He seemed very possessive, he was obsessed with her, but he was really quite rude to me.
“Daniela couldn’t see it. She was very emotional, she followed her heart, and she was desperate to settle down and have a family. She really wanted children. She thought Jonny would give her all that.”
The couple moved in together at the end of 2019, and Jonny worked long hours every day.
Samanta says: “Friends told me Jonny was already married, but he convinced Daniela that he was separated and filing for divorce. Jonny was planning a big wedding, and she was so excited.
Daniela stuck with Jonny despite his bad behaviour and friends trying to help (
“I tried to talk to Daniela but she resented me criticising Jonny. She was infatuated by him.
“He bought her jewellery and flowers and he proposed with a beautiful ring. I later found out that his wife had the exact same ring.
“I also found out that Jonny had no job, but was spending the days with his wife, and the nights with Daniela.
“Jonny became very controlling, installing a tracker in Daniela’s car and banning her from talking to me and the rest of her family. He took her laptop away and took every penny she earned, and by now, she had a good job, as an accountant. He caused trouble between us.”
In November 2019, the couple were married.
Samanta says: “I did Daniela’s hair and make-up for her, before the wedding. We were supposed to be having an Islamic ceremony and then a big party, all organised by Jonny.
Daniela suffered two miscarriages after her wedding to Jonny (
“Jonny took us to a house in Manchester for an Islamic wedding. And when it came to him signing the register, he wrote a different name.
“We thought there would be celebrations afterwards, but nothing happened. It was a bizarre day. Daniela was putting on a brave face, but I knew she was really upset.”
Daniela suffered two miscarriages after her wedding and Jonny continued to control her. In April 2020, the inquest heard, she discovered he was still living with his wife, and she threw him out.
Samanta says: “I went with her to confront him because she was scared and he was very aggressive, he screamed in my face and when I stood up he went to hit me.”
Daniela seemed to cope well with the split, she bought a new home and concentrated on her job. But by July, Jonny had wormed his way back into her life.
Daniela with her sister Samanta who has spoken of the family’s heartbreak (
Samanta says: “He took money from her, he brought cannabis plants to her home, he was abusive to her. She wanted him to leave but he controlled her completely. I was so frustrated with her; we all were. We could see something bad was going to happen.”
According to evidence at the inquest from Daniela’s best friend Najeesa Kauser, and Samanta, the marriage began to deteriorate due to Jonny’s behaviour.
The court heard how Jonny was violent to Daniela, controlled how she dressed, and even tried to get her to steal from her own workplace, Lancs Live reports.
At night he was with Daniela but he spent his days with his other wife.
The couple separated soon after but got back together when Jonny claimed to have filed for divorce from his other wife.
Daniela purchased her new house in July 2020 and Jonny moved in shortly after.
There were suggestions that he had never really divorced his other wife and Samanta told the court that he used Daniela’s new home to grow cannabis plants. Police later found plants at the home.
Samanta said her sister Daniela was ‘beautiful, hardworking and intelligent’ (
On August 8, after Jonny had allegedly stolen some of her money and left her again, having promised to reconcile with her.
On the same day, Daniela took her own life, the coroner was told.
Samanta says: “I got a call from dad, who found her body. It broke my heart but at the same time, this was what I had dreaded all along.
“The police came and wanted to talk to Jonny but he had vanished. We haven’t seen or heard from him since.
“We held her funeral, without him. We had a motorbike procession; she would have loved that.”
Flowers laid for Daniela after she took her own life last summer (
Giving evidence at an inquest last month, DI Paul Langley said although they were satisfied there was no third party involvement in Daniela’s death, an investigation found that Jonny, or Rezwan Javed, was of a lot of interest to the police.
He said: “Mr Javed changed his name to Raja Rez when he was released from prison but also went under the pseudonym of Jonny.
“Him and his brother were convicted over a large scale insurance scam, which was one of the biggest in the UK, and under the proceeds of crime act he had to pay back £156,000.
“Following Daniela’s death we tried to speak with Jonny but could not locate him. His father said he didn’t know where he was and his brother was very hostile towards us.
“We put markers on him on the police national database, as we still would like to interview him about what happened, as we were unable to access Daniela’s phone to read messages sent between them before her death, but so far he has not been located.”
Coroner Mark Williams said: “Whatever I might think about Jonny, his conduct, and the way he’s behaved, it’s nothing I can relate to within the constraints of the inquest.
“We are not here to apportion blame, if there is evidence of immoral behaviour, as opposed to legal wrongdoing, then there is nothing I, or the police, can do.”
“Jonny and Daniela had separated in 2020, and she had moved on with her life.
“There were no problems in Daniela’s life until Jonny showed back up, which her family were not happy about and I can understand why and there were concerns raised during the investigation.
“Sadly we will never know what was said between them on August 7, but she took the decision to take her own life and died at Royal Blackburn Hospital on August 8.”
A medical cause of death of hanging was offered and Mr Williams recorded a conclusion of suicide.