‘Despicable and appalling’ Grenfell Tower fraudster conned council out of £32k

A cold-hearted con man lied about living in a Grenfell Tower flat where two others died so that he could rack up a £32,000 hotel bill in the wake of the tragic fire.

Sheffick Brimer had claimed to be living with two friends but said he had been in hospital recovering from an operation on June 14, 2017 – the night of the fire that killed 72 people.

In fact, he had been in prison that night, and had been for weeks.

Upon his release from prison, Brimer chanced his arm and presented himself to council officials who gave him emergency accommodation, intended for displaced residents of the tower block and paid for by the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington.

He was put up in a four star hotel between July 18 and December 11 2017, and with food costs the council forked out £31,776.59 on him.

An investigation was launched after suspicions were raised when Brimer failed to attend voluntary meetings to assess his housing needs.

The flat he claimed to live in also didn't match the floor he said he had been staying on.

During interview, Brimer also claimed he was provided accommodation as a result of his work with various charitable organisations and said that he previously stayed with the two people who died in the flat, and in several other flats within the tower.

But investigators soon found out that members of the deceased's family had never heard of Brimer before and said he was not living with them.

Detectives made numerous enquiries with other residents of the tower and not one of them had heard of him.

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The Metropolitan Police's Detective Constable Lucy Hall, who led the investigation, said: “Brimer was never a resident of Grenfell Tower and using this tragedy as a way to receive free accommodation and food at the cost of the council is completely despicable and appalling.

“He even had the audacity to complain about his initial accommodation and was moved to a second hotel.

"Witnesses also said he was rude and aggressive to hotel staff.

“Brimer’s behaviour compounds the upset of individuals who have been traumatised by the Grenfell fire and is disrespectful to the victims who he claimed he was living with.”

Yesterday, Brimer, of no fixed abode, was convicted of fraud by false representation following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court and sentenced to five years' imprisonment.

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