Homeless man ‘fraudulently claimed more than £85,000 in hotel bills, food and help by saying he was sleeping rough in Grenfell Tower stairwell on night of fire which killed 72
- Alvin Thompson, 50, is accused of two counts of fraud relating to the fire
- He said he was sleeping rough in Grenfell Tower on the night of the blaze
- His claims include £60k for 200 days of hotel stays, plus nearly £13k for food
Alvin Thompson, 50, is accused of two counts of fraud relating to the Grenfell Tower fire
A homeless man fraudulently claimed more than £85,000 in hotel bills, food and support after claiming he was a victim of the Grenfell Tower disaster, a court has heard.
Alvin Thompson, 50, is accused of two counts of fraud following the fire in June 2017, which resulted in 72 deaths and left many more injured.
Thompson denied the charges, telling Westminster Magistrates’ Court he was sleeping rough in a stairwell in the tower on the night of the fire and was therefore entitled to the funds.
He is accused of claiming £59,949.12 from stays at three separate hotels over the course of more than 200 days, as well as £14,178.70 for estimated other housing costs, and £12,637.57 for financial support including for food.
The total alleged fraud comes to £86,765.39, which he received from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, between June 13 2017 and June 7 2018.
Thompson, who gave his address as Westbourne Park in west London, dismissed his duty solicitor and represented himself during the 25-minute hearing.
His case was sent to the Crown Court as a District Judge ruled that, if convicted, the sentencing power of the Magistrates’ Court would be ‘insufficient’.
Robert Simpson, prosecuting, said: ‘This case arises from the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
‘The defendant claimed he had been a homeless person who had been residing there for quite some time.
Thompson, who gave his address as Westbourne Park in west London, dismissed his duty solicitor and represented himself during the 25-minute hearing
Thompson claimed he was in the Grenfell stairwell on the night of the fire
‘He turned up and said that he had been residing there and survived the fire.
‘And he was thus entitled as he had been living there, albeit as a homeless person, to accommodation which amounted to 50 days in one hotel, 125 days in another hotel and 32 days in a third hotel.
‘He claimed just short of £46,000 worth of hotel accommodation and £18,500 of food allowance. It totals to just short of £65,000.’
District Judge Jim Astle said: ‘The case is going to be dealt with at Isleworth Crown Court.’
Thompson was bailed to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on February 7.
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