Grenfell Tower conman Anh Nhu Nguyen jailed for family deaths lie

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image source, PA
image captionAnh Nhu Nguyen met Prince Charles when he visited survivors

A serial conman has been jailed for 21 months after pretending his family died in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Anh Nhu Nguyen, 53, from Beckenham, claimed his wife and son were killed in the blaze in order to obtain about £12,500 from funds meant for victims.

He even met Prince Charles as he posed as a survivor of the tragedy.

Kim Taylor-Smith, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, described Nguyen's actions as "crass beyond words".

Nguyen previously admitted two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of making an untrue statement for the purpose of obtaining a passport.

His defence barrister, Keima Payton, said a report compiled by a psychologist found Nguyen had an "astonishingly low" IQ that placed him in the bottom 2.5% of people in Britain.

The report also found he was suffering from "long-term, untreated post-traumatic stress disorder", depression and low empathy.

No emotion

It concluded that part of why he had acted was to "feel part of a group, to be looked after, wanted and welcome", she said.

In the wake of the disaster - which claimed the lives of 71 people - Nguyen was given a hotel room, clothing, food, electrical items and money after pretending to be one of the survivors.

Nguyen was discovered to be a fake when he gave several different flat numbers in the tower, some of which did not exist and one where a real victim lived.

He showed no reaction as he was sentenced by Judge Philip Bartle QC at Southwark Crown Court.

image source, PA
image captionA total of 71 people died when a huge fire engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower on 15 June, 2017

Judge Bartle told Nguyen he committed the crimes "knowing full well what the consequences were".

The judge added: "I do not accept that the acts were in some way an attempt to be part of a community and that you were in some way reaching out in order to be embraced by that community.

"You knew that you were taking advantage of these genuine victims at the terrible time of this terrible tragedy."

Reacting to the sentencing, Mr Taylor Smith said Nguyen's fraudulent claims made the council's job "even tougher and more complex than it already is".

He added: "More shockingly, it causes anxiety, anger and stress for many of the families who lost everything in the tragedy."

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