Another Grenfell Scammer Convicted in £89,000 Fraud Case

Metropolitan Police

Yet another bogus Grenfell Tower victim has been convicted, having scammed taxpayers out of £88,860.27.

51-year-old Alvin Thompson had claimed he was living in the 1970s tower block as an illegal squatter when it caught fire in 2017, killing 72 people, and had burned his hand helping people to escape from the blaze.

Thompson said he had been sleeping on the stairwells and charging his phone and operating a toaster using hallway power sockets — but an examination of CCTV footage of the area later found no trace of him.

“When council workers questioned his story, Thompson would become emotional about the trauma he had supposedly suffered or accuse them of being discriminatory towards him,” recounted Adeniyi Ogunleye for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Thomspon was even able to dupe doctors into diagnosing him with “extreme levels of PTSD and anxiety” as a result of his fictitious experiences in the fire, and the authorities submitted to his demands for assistance for some time, putting him up in a string of hotels for almost a year before finally giving him his own flat — which he then insisted they expensively refurbish — as the CPS recounts in an official statement on his conviction:

Thompson was put up in four different hotels, moving each time at his own request, and costing the council £59,949 between 28 July 2017 and 5 April 2018. He was also given a £30-a-day food allowance at each hotel.

He spent 50 nights at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster, 32 nights at the Park Grand in Paddington and 125 nights at the Park Plaza County Hall in Waterloo before heading to the Radisson Blu Portman in Marylebone for a further 50 nights.

During this time he turned down a number of temporary tenancy properties but later accepted a permanent flat in Westbourne Park in April 2018, receiving a £2,400 package to buy any furniture he needed. The defendant then complained his new flat needed a makeover, and so it was deep-cleaned, re-painted and carpeted, costing the council a further £1,525. Thompson also requested a security camera, which was fitted for £570. The total cost of providing Thompson with the flat was £16,273.70.

Additional financial assistance for everyday items such as clothes, food and toiletries amounted to £12,637.57 and was also footed by the council.

After being convicted of two counts of fraud on November 27th, Thompson was sentenced on November 28th, for which he received terms of five years and six months and four years for the second count, respectively.

However, the two sentences will be served concurrently — meaning that, in effect, he will only really serve the five years and six months sentence, and even then only a fraction of the term will actually be served in custody, as it is standard practice in Britain for convicts who receive determinate sentences to be automatically released on licence at the halfway point, if not sooner.

The Metropolitan Police force, which has had to investigate a “long line” of Grenfell fraudsters since 2017, nevertheless appeared to hail the weak punishment as a triumph, boasting that “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” — likely around three years, in reality — “to think about what he has done,” remarked DC Lisa Cook in a Metropolitan Police statement.

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