Two Jamaicans living illegally in the United Kingdom since 2002 are now in jail after they falsely claimed to be victims of a deadly fire, and collected relatively large amounts of Government funds.
Elaine Douglas and Tommy Brooks, who are both 51 years old, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of seeking leave to remain in the United Kingdom by deception.
The two, who are still in custody, will be sentenced on July 13 at Isleworth Crown Court.
The Grenfell Tower fire, which sparked an ongoing inquiry, killed 71 people on June 14 last year.
The court heard that, after the tragedy, the two Jamaicans went to the Grenfell support centre and claimed that they narrowly escaped death from their flat on the 19th floor of the block.
“Douglas claimed a total £67,123.35 of relief intended for victims of the fire. She spent 276 nights in the Radisson Blu in Kensington, costing the council over £55,000.”
“The 51-year-old also spent more than £11,000 on a pre-paid credit card she was given when she complained about the hotel’s food,” the British Broadcasting Corporation reports.
“Brooks claimed £58,396.89 of relief and stayed in the Radisson Blu and another hotel for 243 nights. He also spent over £9,000 of charges on a credit card.”
The authorities eventually uncovered the fraud after the Jamaicans gave an incorrect flat number as the location where they lived at the time of the blaze.
“Both said they were residing in flat 91 on the 19th floor [but] flat 91 is actually on the 12th floor,” the court was told.
Police investigation showed that the two did not live at the building at the time of the fire.