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Fraudster Derrick Peters who pretended to be Grenfell Tower resident jailed



A fraudster who lied about being a former Grenfell Tower resident to avoid a burglary prison sentence has been jailed.

Derrick Peters, 58, was put up in the Park Grand hotel in Paddington, west London, after claiming to have lost his friend and all of his possessions in the blaze on 14 June last year.

He racked up a £40,000 bill while staying in the £192-a-night room – spending more than £5,000 on food, drink and laundry.

Peters was arrested two months later after burgling a nearby flat – stealing up to £3,000 worth of jewellery and other items.

Grenfell Tower, one month after the fire
Grenfell Tower, one month after the fire

The council continued to pay for his room for two months as he was held on remand in Wandsworth prison.

He later returned to the hotel having being handed a community order after he repeated his Grenfell lies during mitigation to the judge sentencing him in October.

Sympathising with him, the judge said: “How on earth can one even begin to understand what it is like to lose a friend in a tragedy like Grenfell?”

On Friday, Peters pleaded guilty to perverting the court of justice and two counts of fraud at Isleworth Crown Court.

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He was sentenced to six years in jail and was also re-sentenced for the original burglary charge.

Judge Robin Johnson told Peters that his “brazen lie” to the judge had been designed to “pull heart-strings”.

“It succeeded, just as the similar lies were providing you with hotel accommodation and money,” he said.

“Your conduct from June last year was utterly disgraceful. You cheated and lied for your own ends, trading on others’ misery. There can be little mercy in such a case.”

The tower has been covered in white a year after the fire
The tower has been covered in white a year after the fire

It was revealed in court that Peters has 40 convictions for 90 offences – including 24 for fraud and 73 for theft.

He is the sixth person to be sentenced for fraud relating to the Grenfell fire, receiving the longest prison term yet.

Edward Daffarn, a member of the Grenfell United survivors group, said he was “sickened” by Peters’ crimes.

“It is pouring salt on the wounds of the bereaved and ex-Tower residents to know that the deaths and trauma we have had to endure is seen simply as an opportunity for others to profit and exploit,” he said.

The west London blaze caused 72 deaths and left over 70 others injured and is under public inquiry, police investigations and coroner’s inquests.

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