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Jenny McDonagh, 39, steals $80,000 allocated to victims of Grenfell Tower

Jenny McDonagh (file photo)

A British council worker has confessed to stealing $80,000 allocated to victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Former finance manager for Kensington and Chelsea Council, Jenny McDonagh, 39, took £62,000 meant for survivors of the tragedy using pre-paid credit cards.

She spent the funds on foreign trips and expensive dinners in addition to online gambling.

Westminster Magistrates Court said on Thursday that McDonagh, from Abbey Wood, south-east London, pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud, one of theft and another of concealing criminal property.

The court freed McDonagh on bail. However, she was ordered to quit her current job as finance officer at a mental health charity and inform the police before taking on a new job. 

McDonagh was also ordered to surrender her passport and wear an electronic tag until her trial. 

She is currently under investigation for fraud at her previous places of employment.

Robert Simpson, a prosecutor to the case, described McDonagh as a “serial fraudster”.

McDonagh used the stolen credit cards for a  “trip to Dubai, Los Angeles, meals in expensive restaurants, hair appointments and personal luxuries for herself,” he said.

On June 14, 2017 a massive fire erupted at the 24-storey high Grenfell Tower housing 120 apartments located in North Kensington, west London.

Local resident, Nadia, whose family name was not given, told Press TV in an interview back then that there had been a media blackout and British news agencies were ordered to censore the death of hundreds of people killed in the incident.

She said out of approximately 600 people who were living in the building, only 76 had been accounted for by the officials and the rest had died. Police, however, put the death toll at 71, claiming that hundreds of survivors had fled from the tower inferno.

Many have blamed the government's neglect of the poor conditions of the building as a cause of the fire. Grenfell Tower was populated by impoverished, mainly ethnic-minority, residents. 

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