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'Truly appalling actions': Public official jailed for stealing €67k of Grenfell money

Jenny McDonagh, 39, a finance worker with Kensington and Chelsea local authority, admitted spending the money on trips abroad, beauty treatments and restaurant meals.

Jenny McDonagh, who worked for Kensington and Chelsea Council, leaving Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this year.
Jenny McDonagh, who worked for Kensington and Chelsea Council, leaving Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this year.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

A PUBLIC OFFICIAL who stole more than £60,000 (€67,600) intended for the survivors of London’s deadly Grenfell tower disaster was jailed today for five and a half years, police said.

Jenny McDonagh, 39, a finance worker with Kensington and Chelsea local authority, admitted spending the money on trips abroad, beauty treatments and restaurant meals.

“Her actions were truly appalling,” said Detective Superintendent Matt Bonner of the Metropolitan Police.

She began stealing shortly after joining the council in October 2017, several months after the June 14 inferno at the public housing bloc, which killed 71 people.

Flammable cladding ban The Grenfell fire Source: Natalie Oxford

McDonagh used five pre-paid credit cards intended to help the survivors, who were left homeless and deeply traumatised in many cases.

She topped up the cards 17 times over the next 10 months with council money, to a total of £62,062, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement.

She also admitted a separate fraud in 2016 at the state-run National Health Service, where she submitted four false invoices with her own account details on, worth £35,050.

“McDonagh is a serial fraudster with no compunction for who she targets,” Bonner said.

“She knew she was taking precious funds intended for those who survived the Grenfell Tower tragedy, people who have already been through the most traumatic experience imaginable without then being caught up in McDonagh’s deception.”

- © AFP, 2018

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