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Woman who pretended to be widow of Grenfell Tower victim jailed for four years

The total value of her fraud was more than €21,000.

Msokeri gave a fake name to relief workers to falsely claim food, clothing, money and a month’s accommodation.
Msokeri gave a fake name to relief workers to falsely claim food, clothing, money and a month’s accommodation.
Image: Metropolitan Police

A WOMAN WHO pretended to be the widow of a Grenfell Tower victim so she could claim money and accommodation has been given a four-and-a-half year sentence.

Joyce Msokeri, 47, was convicted on 15 March at Southwark Crown Court.

In the aftermath of the fire on 14 June last year in which 71 people died, Msokeri gave a fake name to relief workers to falsely claim food, clothing, money and a month’s accommodation in the Hilton hotel in Kensington.

She also tried to get rehoused, despite living in a flat in Sutton, south London.

The 47-yar-old woman claimed to have moved into Grenfell Tower in February 2017 to live with her husband who she said died in the fire.

As part of the fraud, Msokeri told investigators she subsequently discovered her husband had survived and had been living in a cave in Margate in Kent where he was fed by tourists.

Tower block fire in London 71 people died after a fire broke out in the apartment block. Source: David Mirzoeff

She persuaded a vulnerable man to pretend to be her husband and went to the length of admitting him into a mental health ward to support her claim, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

As her story unravelled, investigators discovered she actually lived in Sutton and there was evidence of calls to a satellite TV company the day after the fire to negotiate a new contract.

The total value of her fraud was £19,000 (about €21,500).

Exploitation

Speaking about the sentencing today, Kate Mulholland from the Criminal Prosecution Service said Msokeri’s offences were “not just about money but involved the exploitation of extremely vulnerable people, as well as the breach of trust of survivors, donors and relief workers”.

“Our prosecution showed she persuaded one vulnerable man to pretend to be her husband as part of her scam. She also claimed her supposed husband had not died in the fire as she first thought, but had been living in a cave.

“This was all to satisfy her greed and she will now have to face the consequences of her dishonesty.”

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