Council boss bought dildo with Grenfell Towers survivor’s money

central london

A council finance boss spent part of the £60,000 she stole from the Grenfell Tower victims on an Ann Summers vibrator.

Jenny McDonagh, 39, plundered the fund to live the high life, making shopping trips to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Isleworth crown court heard.

She also funded a huge gambling habit and brought the love aid from the sex shop.

The lurid purple sex aid cost £48 and was a mammoth 12 inches long.

McDonagh enjoyed a New Year’s party in Reykjavik and made trips to Dubai and Hollywood.

The council officer also blew £32,000 gambling and was described as a ‘pathetic woman’ by her own barrister.

The former Kensington and Chelsea employee had grabbed £35,000 from the NHS in a previous fraud to fund her lavish lifestyle of luxurious hotels and beauty parlours.

But she still managed to get a job as an accounts supervisor with the council to swindle the fire victims.

Since her arrest for Grenfell Tower fraud, shameless McDonagh got a job at finance manager at a mental health charity, the court heard.

McDonagh was branded ‘beyond contempt’, by a survivor of the blaze which killed 72 people in June last year.

Jailing McDonagh, Judge Robin Johnson said:‘You have pleaded guilty to a number of offences.

‘The first fraud was on the NHS over a period of 3-4 months where the loss was some £35,000.

‘The second and more serious is what has come to be known as a Grenfell fraud- this involved obtaining more than £60,000 over a period of 10 months.

‘You were employed by the Medway NHS Trust from November 2015 until June 2016. Using you undoubted guile you defrauded the NHS of £35,00.

‘The fraud was one where there was considerable planning and skill, as well as a serious breach of trust.

‘While I have sentenced a number of the cases that have to be known as Grenfell frauds, and read about others, your offending is unique in my experience.

‘As the finance manager to the Grenfell Finance Team at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea you knew exactly what these funds were for and the importance of them for the intended recipients namely the victims of the fire.

‘Bearing that in mind the scale of your dishonesty in these frauds beggars belief.’

The judge added: ‘It is right to say that while 25 per cent of the fraud was lost to gambling, much was spent on you indulging yourself with luxury goods and holidays.’

Tearful McDonagh turned to her husband in the public gallery of the court as she was led away and said: ‘I am sorry. I love you. I will be okay.’

From October 25 2017 to 3 July 2018, McDonagh spent a total of £51,407.22 splashing out on holidays to Paris on 1st December; Iceland on 29th December, Los Angeles on 10th – 18th February, Dubai on 3rd – 10th May.

She also treated herself to a £200 meal at the Delaunay restaurant in Covent Garden.

In total she took about £62,000 from pre-paid cash cards meant for Fadumo Ahmed, Sacha Salaabi, Christos Fairburn, Marlyn Lopez and Edward Daffarn.

Ben Holt prosecuting, earlier told the court: ‘The money is spent on days out – evidence by trips on the Thames Clipper and regularly visits to restaurants.

‘The money is spent on frivolous items, for example,£48.00 spent at Ann Summers on 31st May. These are not everyday essentials, far from it.’

McDonagh, of south east London, had admitted two counts of fraud by abuse of position, one of theft by employee and one of converting criminal property while she was a finance manager for the Grenfell survivors’ fund and further fraud while working at the NHS

Neil Ross, defending said the case had wrecked McDonagh’s marriage and she is now on anti-depressants and seeking counselling.

‘She has destroyed her own future and of course has brought that on herself,’ he said.

‘She is a pathetic woman in the original meaning of that word.’

McDonagh was jailed for five and half years.

MEMO:

Information about the dildo comes from the officer who did not want to be quoted in the case. He said: ‘It was not lingerie she bought.

‘What she bought was a 12 inch purple vibrator valued at £48.’

Prosecutor: Ben Holt

Defence: Neil Ross

Judge: Robin Johnson

Sentence: NHS FRAUD by abuse of position 18 months

Grenfell fraud charges fraud by abuse of position 4 years imprisonment concurrent to each other but consecutive to nhs fraud

Charges two and three theft by employee and criminal property 2 years imprisonment

Charge
Offence
Description
Value

1
Fraud by AoP
Use of prepaid card ino Marlyn LOPEZ’s
£5,650

2
Theft by employee
Stealing (and using) three prepaid cards
£5,005

3
POCA offence
Depositing stolen funds into personal account
£39,945

4
Fraud by AoP
Use of prepaid card ino Edward DAFFARN
£51,407

The defendant pleaded Guilty to these four charges at the Magistrates’ Court. The case was committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

Pleaded guilty to Grenfell fraud charges: 30th August

Examples of her spending

Beauty treatments (£120 on 30.5.18);

Marks & Spencer (c£350 between 22-24.5.18);

Burger and Lobster (c£110 on 22.4.18);

Argos (£150 on 4.4.18));

Adidas (£200 on 24.2.18);

Uniqlo (£300 on 10.12.17);

Delaunay restaurant (£200 on 8.12.17).

memo ends

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