Jail for conman who pretended wife and son died in Grenfell Tower fire

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A serial conman who pretended his family died in the Grenfell Tower fire to obtain more than £10,000 meant for the victims has been jailed.

Anh Nhu Nguyen claimed his wife and son were killed in the June 14 disaster and was photographed beside the Prince of Wales when he met survivors.

As part of his deceit, Nguyen spun a cruel tale to family liaison officers, describing in detail how he lost sight of his family in the smoke-clogged stairwell.

But while a major recovery operation was under way on June 15, the fraudster was actually nine miles away at a housing charity, according to prosecutors.

The 53-year-old, of Beckenham, south-east London, showed no reaction as he was jailed for 21 months by Judge Philip Bartle QC at Southwark Court on Friday.

The judge said: “I am sure from everything I have seen… that despite your low IQ you knew full well what you were doing. You knew that you were taking advantage of these genuine victims at this terrible time of this terrible tragedy.”

The court heard that Nguyen received around £11,270 from charities and Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Grefell fraud
Anh Nhu Nguyen

Some 71 people were killed in the blaze which swept through the west London block after cladding on the exterior caught fire.

Nguyen pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court in November to two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of making an untrue statement for the purpose of obtaining a passport.

Grenfell Tower on fire
Some 71 people died in the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London in June 2017 (Natalie Oxford/PA)

Nguyen was born in Vietnam, has been in the UK since the 1980s, is a British citizen and has 17 aliases.

He has 28 previous convictions for 56 offences spanning more than 30 years, including theft, dishonesty offences, arson and grievous bodily harm.

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