A fraudster has been sent to prison after claiming to be a Grenfell Tower resident and defrauding the council of nearly £32,000.
On Friday, 20 March Sheffick Brimer, 50 (11.08.1969) of no fixed abode, was convicted of fraud by false representation following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Brimer claimed to have lived in a flat in Grenfell Tower along with two residents who sadly died in the fire. On the night of the fire he claimed to have been in hospital, admitted a few weeks earlier for an operation.
In reality he was actually in prison on the night of the fire and for weeks before and after the tragic incident.
When he was released Brimer presented himself to council officials and was given emergency accommodation, intended for displaced residents of the tower block, paid for by the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington.
He received four star hotel accommodation, with food, to the value of £31,776.59 between 18 July 2017 and 11 December 2017.
An investigation was launched after suspicions were raised when he failed to attend voluntary meetings to assess his housing needs. The flat he said he lived in did also not match the floor number he claimed to live on.
During interview, Brimer claimed he was provided accommodation as a result of his work with various charitable organisations and claimed he previously stayed with the deceased family and in several other flats within the tower.
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.
Detective Constable Lucy Hall led the investigation. She 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 traumatized by the Grenfell fire and is disrespectful to the victims who he claimed he was living with.”