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Man admits £40,000 Grenfell fraud

23 August 2018

A MAN who avoided going to prison for a burglary by falsely telling a judge he had lost all his belongings in the Grenfell fire has admitted perverting the course of justice.

He also pleaded guilty to fraud at Isleworth Crown Court after getting free hotel accommodation worth thousands of pounds.

Derrick Peters, 58, initially lied to Kensington and Chelsea council by claiming he had been living with a friend who had died in the blaze, but was not there on the night of the fire himself.

As a result he was put up at the Park Grand Hotel in Kensington between 28 June and January 2018. The cost of the hotel room and room service was more than £40,000.

While staying there, he burgled a flat in west London in August - stealing more than £3,000 worth of jewellery, computer equipment and speakers.

He later admitted the offence but before he was sentenced, Peters wrote a letter to the judge asking to be treated leniently because of the Grenfell tragedy.

In October he was given a community sentence and returned to the hotel where he had been previously staying.

However, the council become suspicious of Peters’ story as the flat number he claimed to be staying in did not exist. He was not captured on any CCTV footage coming or going from the flat and the daughter of the friend he claimed to be staying with said Peters had never lived with them.

He will be sentenced on 24 August.

Kate Mulholland, of the CPS, said, “Derrick Peters lied about staying in Grenfell to benefit from aid and assistance meant for true survivors of the fire.

“He then used the same lie to mislead a court and avoid a prison sentence, a serious offence in itself but which also allowed him to continue to defraud the taxpayer by claiming more accommodation.

“Our prosecution was able to prove Peters’ calculated dishonesty leading to the guilty pleas and today’s prison sentence.”