A man has been jailed for fraud offences costing more than £95,000 after he pretended to be a survivor of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Alvin Thompson approached Kensington and Chelsea council claiming to have been sleeping in the stairwell of the tower when the blaze took hold on June 14, 2017.
He said he helped people escape the fire, which killed 72 people.
The 51-year-old then gave doctors false accounts of recurring nightmares, flashbacks of stepping over bodies and feelings of guilt, leading to a diagnosis of extreme levels of post-traumatic stress disorder.
As a result of his claims, Thompson received financial assistance and hotel accommodation for eight months before being allocated permanent housing in March 2018, which he then requested was painted and re-carpeted.
The total value of the fraud including hotels, financial handouts and permanent housing came to £95,706.42.
However, his crime was revealed after bank transactions and passport records showed he was linked to an address in north London.
Mobile phone evidence also showed that in the months before the fire, Thompson’s phone did not register overnight in the vicinity of Grenfell Tower.
CCTV did not capture him either fleeing the fire or entering the tower at any point in the preceding two weeks.
Thompson was jailed for five years and six months for two counts of fraud at Isleworth Crown Court.
DC Lisa Cook, investigating, said: “Anyone who attempts to profit from the tragedy that occurred at Grenfell Tower can expect to be punished to the full extent of the law.
“Thompson’s behaviour was despicable; he showed complete disregard for the suffering of those who lost their lives, and their families. Now he will have plenty of time in prison to think about what he has done.”
talkRADIO - listen live