Grenfell Tower frauds lived in luxury


Two illegal immigrants lived in a luxury hotel for eight months after falsely claiming they were victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, a court heard.

Tommy Brooks, 51, and Elaine Douglas, 51, racked up bills for £104,000 for accommodation alone.

Douglas ran up a food bill of £11,000 too – and complained about the quality of the menu.

The couple came to the UK from Jamaica in 2002 and were booked on return flights but did not show up.

They turned up at the support centre claiming they had narrowly escaped death from their flat on the 19th floor of the block where 71 people died last June.

The couple were housed at the Madison Blue Edwardian Hotel and issued with credit cards and Oyster cards so they could travel around London for free.

But they were caught out when they gave investigators the number of their flat – not realising it was on a different floor.

Benjamin Holt, prosecuting, told Isleworth Crown Court: ‘These two defendants falsely claimed to be residents at Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire.

‘Both made representations they were living in flats.

‘Ms Douglas spent 276 nights at Madison Blue Edwardian Hotel costing £55,000.

‘She charged food and beverages at £267.35. In addition, Ms Douglas complained about the quality of the food she was receiving. She ran up charges in excess of £11,000.

‘Mr Brooks, stayed a the same hotel until he was arrested after 243 nights there. His accommodation costs came to just under £49,000.

‘There were £276 costs for food and pre-paid cards of £9,000. That made the total value £58,396.89.’

Mr Holt added: ‘Ms Douglas came to the UK on 22nd February 2002. She was refused leave to enter the UK and was booked on a flight for 24 February.

‘She did attend the flight, owing to feeling unwell, the flight was re-arranged for 8 March. She did not attend that flight either. There had been nothing heard of her for 16 years.

But the police investigation showed neither of the defendants lived at the Kensington skyscraper in June 2017 when the inferno began.

Brooks and Douglas, both of no fixed address, both admitted one charge of fraud.

They were remanded in custody ahead of sentence on 13 July.