Welcome to Kehinde Popoola's website

Council worker stole £62,000 of Grenfell money for holidays and gambling

A former finance manager for Kensington and Chelsea Council has admitted defrauding Grenfell Tower victims in order to pay for holidays, pay for expensive dinners and to gamble online.

Jenny McDonagh took £62,000 meant for survivors of the tragedy using pre-paid credit cards and paid for trips to Dubai and Los Angeles.

McDonagh, 39, was first arrested on August 1 and used a stolen card again two days later.

Jenny McDonagh, who worked for Kensington and Chelsea Council, leaving Westminster Magistrates Court where she had appeared charged with fraud offences after allegedly obtaining money intended for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 30, 2018. See PA story COURTS Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Jenny McDonagh took £62,000 meant for survivors of the tragedy (Picture: PA)

Jenny McDonagh, who worked for Kensington and Chelsea Council, leaving Westminster Magistrates Court where she had appeared charged with fraud offences after allegedly obtaining money intended for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 30, 2018. See PA story COURTS Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

She used the money to pay for trips to Dubai and Los Angeles as well as expensive food and online gambling (Picture: PA)

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

Prosecutor Robert Simpson described her as a ‘serial fraudster’ who ‘lives beyond her means and gambles’.

STRICT EMBARGO - NO USE BEOFRE 21:00 THURSDAY 30TH AUGUST 2018 Mandatory Credit: Photo by Dymond/Thames/Syco/REX (9838680n) Robbie Williams, Ayda Williams and Louis Tomlinson during the act of Janice Robinson 'The X Factor' TV show, Series 15, Episode 1, UK - 01 Sep 2018Simon Cowell ‘had to write vulgar cheques’ to get new X Factor panel together

He said she used the stolen funds for a ‘trip to Dubai, Los Angeles, meals in expensive restaurants, hair appointments and personal luxuries for herself’.

He added: ‘She spent quite a lot of money on online gambling.

‘She spent £32,000, of which £16,000 was winnings, and lost roughly £16,000 in online gambling.’

Jenny McDonagh, who worked for Kensington and Chelsea Council, leaving Westminster Magistrates Court where she had appeared charged with fraud offences after allegedly obtaining money intended for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday August 30, 2018. See PA story COURTS Grenfell. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

McDonagh, from Abbey Wood, south-east London, pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud (Picture: PA)

Jenny McDonagh, the council finance manager who stole ?62k from the Grenfell Towers survivor's fund. SEE STORY CENTRAL NEWS

Prosecutor Robert Simpson described her as a ‘serial fraudster’ who ‘lives beyond her means and gambles’

Mr Simpson said she was also under investigation for suspected frauds against her former employers, Medway NHS Trust in Kent and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

‘It’s suggested she obtained around £35,000 by means of fraud when working for the NHS trust,’ he added.

Roxanne.CBB’s Roxanne Pallett worked with Refuge after suffering abusive relationship

He said the alleged fraud against the museum ‘hadn’t got far enough for her to obtain anything from it, but it had potential’.

McDonagh appeared in the dock wearing a large green coat and showed no emotion as the details of her offending were relayed to the court.

She was released on conditional bail with an electronic tag and will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court at a date to be set.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: A hose continues to douse the fire at Grenfell Tower on June 15, 2017 in London, England. At least 17 people have been confirmed dead and dozens missing, after the 24 storey residential Grenfell Tower block in Latimer Road was engulfed in flames in the early hours of June 14. The number of fatalities are expected to rise. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The money was meant to go to help victims of the fire (Picture: Getty)

Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot said ‘custody is the obvious place to go’ and ordered a pre-sentence report.

She also ordered that McDonagh quit her current job as finance officer at a mental health charity and inform the police before taking on any further work.

She also has to surrender her passport and is banned from applying for other travel documents.

Seventy-two people died as a result of the fire on June 14 last year.



Got a story for Metro.co.uk?

If you have a story for our news team, email us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Have something to add? Share it in the comments.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *