A fraudster who claimed he saw terrified Grenfell Tower victims burning to death when he was 12 miles away is facing years behind bars. Abolaji Onafuye, 54, claimed £32,000 in donations and housing support after lying to authorities that he lived in the doomed tower and that his sister and nephew were both killed. But a jury convicted him of fraud after hearing he was not related to Zainab Deen and her two-year-old son Jeremiah.
Isleworth Crown Court in West London heard that Onafuye claimed thousands and racked up a hotel bill of £35,000 after Kensington Council initially accepted his claim that he had lived in the tower.
The Nigerian-born property consultant was given emergency accommodation in the four-star Grosvenor Hotel in Belgravia, Central London. Theresa May to fight leadership battle ‘with everything I’ve got’ He later claimed he had suffered ‘mental trauma’ from seeing people screaming for help inside the tower, but analysis of his mobile phone found he was 12 miles away from the site on the day of the fire.
After his arrest, the father-of-five from Hammersmith in West London attempted to blame his fraudulent claims on low blood sugar, saying he was ‘hallucinating’ and ‘temporarily insane’ because he had been fasting. He will be sentenced at a later date.
A man who was caught with £800,000 worth of cocaine in the boot of his car after he was stopped by officers from the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce has been sentenced to 12 years in jail.
William Dunford 24 (24.08.94) of York Way, Islington, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday, 6 December, after he pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of a class A drug.
Officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce in two unmarked police vehicles, were carrying out a routine stop and search patrol in East London, when they stopped a car being driven by Dunford.
On searching the vehicle, officers discovered 26kg of cocaine hidden in the boot.
Inspector Peter Moxham, of the Violent Crime Taskforce said:“This sentencing is the result of a routine stop and search carried out by officers on patrol. These take place every day, across London.
“A result like this demonstrates how effective the tactic can be when preventing criminals involved in drug dealing and other criminality, including carrying offensive weapons. A 12-year sentence has now been handed out to an individual who clearly thought he would not be caught by police.
“I would like this case to act as a warning to anyone who thinks they can get away with drug dealing.”
South Ruislip knife stabbing victim Osman Shidane was killed by a knife that he had been carrying himself, it was revealed at the trial of his killer.
A 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons stood trial at The Old Bailey and was convicted of the manslaughter of Osman, who was stabbed outside St Gregory the Great Church, in Victoria Road.
The court heard from one of Osman’s closest friends, Mohammed Abshir, who told the jury he had worked with Osman, 20, for the last few years.
Call logs and text messages showed that Osman, who was also known as “Bounty” and “Scrambles”, spent much of his last three days “chilling” with Mohammed. On one of these occasions, just a day before he was seriously stabbed, a “long knife slid down his trouser leg” while celebrating a goal scored on the video game FIFA.
Osman came around 4ish and we were sitting on the sofa playing FIFA”, Mohammed recalled.
“Someone scored and we all over-exaggerated our celebrations, but when he stood up a knife fell from him and came down his trousers.”
Later, Andrew Hall QC for the defence showed the court a picture of the knife found at the scene of Osman’s murder, and Mohamed confirmed this was the knife that fell from his friend’s trousers the day before he was stabbed.
After the knife fell, Mohammed and Kane Augustine, the other friend present at the time, confronted Osman about the knife, the court heard.
The previous day, Osman had been in an argument with a drug dealer called Sticker, Mohamed told jurors, suggesting this was why the young salesman had taken to carrying around a knife.
Kane provided him with “the ugliest bag in the world to conceal the knife in and Osman left it with Mohamed, who was staying at his sister’s home.
TheOld Baileywas shown Osman’s text messages with Mohamed the following day, May 15, just hours before Osman would be stabbed.
In the texts, Osman wrote “bruv should I come down and pick up the ting”, which both prosecution and defence agree is a reference to the knife.
“Need it G it’s bait as well” Osman added, meaning that he needed the knife and that it was in an obvious location, in Mohamed’s sister’s kitchen.
“Before your sister clocks” he concluded, suggesting Mohamed’s sister could easily come across the knife.
“Bell me when you’re going yard, I need the ting” he later texted Kane.
Osman met Kane and Mohamed at the home, picked up his knife and they all boarded a train forEastcote, the closest station to Osman’s home, Mohammed told the jury.”
“We were sitting on the wall outside his house and he went in to put the knife back”, said Mohammed.
However the witness was cross-examined by the defence, where he conceded that he had just assumed Osman has returned the knife to his kitchen, however he was still wearing the bag when he came out.
A plan was made for Osman to buy cannabis from the defendant, whom it was heard earlier from PC Solanki of SouthRuislipward, is well known to police for allegedly dealing drugs from his bicycle.
Mohamed said that he and cane could “not be a****” to meet the dealer with Osman as their meeting point had changed from near Osman’s house to the BP petrol station in Victoria Road, just a few metres from where Osman was stabbed, near the Old Dairy Cineworld and Asda development.
“After half an hour we kept texting him saying we’re at your home, we decided to follow the helicopters and sirens” said Mohammed.
Tracing the path to their friend’s seriously injured body, Mohamed said that all he could see were his friend’s shoes, which he recognised but said he “couldn’t be sure” it was him as there was “lots of police surrounding him”.
Osman Shidane passed away in hospital three days later, on May 18.
The 17-year-old defendant who was 16 at the time of the stabbing was sentenced to six years in jail.
Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:“Osman was a young man who was pursued and viciously stabbed to death in the street. It was a needless killing and the devastating effects will be felt by his family forever.
“Those who witnessed this crime will also have to come to terms with the aftermath, but I would like to personally thank all those members of the public who came to Osman’s aid that night and tried to save him.
“The fact that his killer was only aged 16 at the time he carried out this terrible act makes this crime seem even more awful. As a result of carrying knives a young man has lost his life.”
IT seems like an unspeakably cruel thing to do: inflicting severe pain on your girlfriend by rubbing chilli on a tampon they are about to use.
However YouTuber Brad Holmes did this, filming his partner Jenny screaming in agony and uploading so it could be viewed by two million people online.
At the time, it was seen as a funny prank, but it is an example of a new trend known as ‘cloutlighting’ – where men perform extreme pranks on their other halves then film their upset reactions in order to gain large numbers of likes on social media.
The phrase is a combination of ‘gaslighting’ – where an abuser manipulates factual information so the victim doubts themselves – and ‘clout’, a type of social media fame.
The more extreme the videos are, the more likes and views they can receive, meaning they increase the poster’s clout score: a measurement of how famous they are on the internet.
Recent high profile clips include a woman being told her cat has died, another being called ugly by her boyfriend and faking affairs.
While many of the social media stars known for posting these videos say they are set up stunts done with their partners’ consent, experts from relationship charities have expressed concern that abuse could be going on when the camera stops rolling.
The, Sun Online takes a closer look at the growing trend and those on the receiving end of these often cruel pranks.
A man who used fake social media profiles to convince young women to send compromising images of themselves before blackmailing and raping one of them has been jailed.
Rhys Miller-Offiong, 24 (17.05.94) of Muirkirk Road, SE6 was jailed for 15 years with an four-year extended licence at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday, 6 December.
On his release, he will be made to sign the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period and will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Miller-Offiong had pleaded guilty at the same court on 5 November to one count of rape, one count of blackmail, four counts of distributing indecent images of a child, three counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress, and one count of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence.
A further count of rape and attempted rape were ordered to lie on file.
An investigation was launched after Miller-Offiong raped a 19-year-old woman at an address in Catford on 24 August 2017.
Miller-Offiong had met the woman online using a fake profile. He had initially persuaded her to send intimate images to him and then set up a meeting with her. When the victim attended and realised Miller-Offiong was not the person she thought she had been engaging with online, he threatened to send the images to her friends and family if she refused to go with him. Under duress, the woman went with Miller-Offiong to an address in Catford where she was raped.
The offence was reported to police who managed to identify Miller-Offiong through his social media profiles. Further investigations established two other young women who had been snared online by Miller-Offiong and tricked into sending compromising images and videos of themselves to him.
He was arrested and subsequently charged.
Detective Constable Paul Harakis of the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said:
“Miller-Offiong is a predatory sex offender who has drawn unsuspecting girls into his sexual trap via social media. The victims in this case have shown real strength of character and fortitude by both assisting our investigation and providing evidence to the court which left Miller-Offiong with little option than to plead guilty.
“I would like to praise their bravery and courage in coming forward and I hope it gives them some form of closure now that Miller-Offiong is behind bars.”
= Miller-Offiong was sentenced as follows:
– rape; 15 years’ imprisonment plus a four-year extended licence;
– blackmail; four years’ imprisonment to run concurrently;
– four counts of distributing indecent images of a child; ten months’ imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently;
– three counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress; ten months’ imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently;
– commit an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence; two year’s imprisonment to run concurrently.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has today Thursday, 6 December, launched a video campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage victims to seek help and support.
The campaign coincides with 16 days of focused activity around domestic abuse which commenced on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Sunday, 25 November).
The two short videos feature scenarios which illustrate typical behaviours of both victims and abusers in relation to physical abuse and coercive control; the latter often being overlooked as a form of domestic abuse.
The purpose is to convey the message to victims that “you are not alone” and to encourage them to “tell someone.” They also highlight the other medical professionals and partner agencies who can offer support alongside the police.
The videos, which are supported by Women’s Aid, Refuge, NHS England and the London Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, will be played in GP surgeries across London.
Zena, who in 2016 was assaulted by her ex-husband and has watched the two videos, said: “It’s good to put out a message that domestic abuse is more than just physical abuse; in my experience the controlling and following was the worst. People may not realise that messaging and turning up unannounced is abuse so I think it’s great that the police are sending the message that abuse isn’t just physical.
“I think showing this in doctors’ surgeries is an especially great idea. Sometimes I sat there and wanted to cry and hoped that people would just ask the right questions. Seeing the woman in the video break down is what got me. Anything the police do to raise awareness is positive.
“I suffered domestic abuse for a long time and I only realised it through the experiences of others. The best thing I ever did was report it to police after I left an abusive relationship. It has taken me a long time to get back to a good place.”
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vandenbergh, who came up with the idea to create the videos, said:“Domestic abuse is more than just violence. It is also the psychological and emotional abuse from a partner, which can traumatise the victim.
“These videos clearly show this and I hope give a rounded view of what a victim could be going through. I hope these videos strike a chord with those who might be experiencing domestic abuse, and encourage them to come forward and report it so they can be fully supported, not only by the police but by other charities and partner agencies.
“I also hope that these videos raise awareness amongst the public, so they are able to spot the signs in others going through it and help them.
“This is just a small part of what the MPS is doing to tackle domestic abuse and we continue to be fully committed to safeguarding victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.”
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:“From our work with survivors, we know that for many women their doctor’s surgery or hospital might be the only place where they are alone and feel safe enough to disclose their experience of domestic abuse, especially coercive and controlling behaviour. Health professionals, like GPs or nurses, can play a huge role in ensuring that survivors get the support they need to escape this form of abuse.
“This campaign by the MPS will help send out the powerful message to survivors that they are not alone and there is help out there for them – whether the abuse is physical or mental. By working together, the police, NHS and specialist agencies can give the right response to survivors of coercive and controlling behaviour to help them rebuild their life free from fear and abuse.”
During the 16 days of action, domestic abuse offenders have been targeted as part of the Met’s ongoing commitment to safeguard victims of domestic abuse and their families. The activity runs in addition to similar work carried out throughout the year under Operation Dauntless – the Met’s focus on and commitment to reducing violence against women and girls.