NEWS
06/04/2018 16:08 BST | Updated 06/04/2018 16:27 BST

Jail For Fraudster Who Posed As Grenfell Widow In £19,000 Scam

'Your greed... was insatiable.'

A fraudster has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after posing as a Grenfell Tower survivor in a £19,000 scam.

Joyce Msokeri said she escaped the fire and thought her husband had died but she was actually single and living miles away.

She then filled a room at a Hilton hotel with donations from well-wishers, and concocted an elaborate ploy to claim insurance on her fictitious partner’s death.

PA Wire/PA Images
'Callous and contemptible': Joyce Msokeri

When her scheme faltered, she preyed on a vulnerable man to play her husband, telling investigators she found he had been living in a cave in Margate, Kent, where he was fed by tourists, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The 47-year-old showed no emotion as she was sentenced for three counts of fraud and one charge of possessing a false document at the Old Bailey.

Judge Michael Grieve QC said: “These are callous and contemptible, indeed disgusting, offences for which only a custodial sentence can be justified, and one of some length.”

He added: “Your greed in taking advantage of the situation you had created was insatiable.”

Kate Mulholland, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Joyce Msokeri has been sentenced today for fraudulently claiming money and accommodation intended for the true victims of the Grenfell Tower fraud.

PA Wire/PA Images
The fire at Grenfell Tower 

“Her 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.”