Judge hits out at delay as Grenfell Tower fraudster's sentencing adjourned

A judge has said it is "extremely unfortunate" that the sentencing of a fraudster who pretended his family had died in the Grenfell Tower fire to obtain relief funds has been delayed until the new year.

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.

Anh Nhu Nguyen
Anh Nhu Nguyen

At a hearing in November, the 53-year-old, of Beckenham, south-east London, admitted two counts of fraud by false representation and one count of making an untrue statement for the purpose of obtaining a passport.

Sentencing was adjourned until December by Judge Philip Bartle to allow a pre-sentence report and a psychiatric report to be compiled.

However, Southwark Crown Court heard on Thursday there had been a "failure" by probation services to make contact with the defendant and provide a report.

Judge Bartle also said a psychologist had prepared a substantial 21-page report but had said it was "essential" to have access to Nguyen's medical notes before making any final conclusions.

The judge warned the adjournment must be the final delay.

He said: "In these circumstances the defence seek an adjournment.

"It is extremely unfortunate that this matter, having been before the court back in November, that on the 21st of December the defence have to make this application."

He emphasised this was "through no fault of Mr Nguyen", adding: "In my judgment, having ordered that these reports be before the court... it is appropriate, albeit unfortunate, to adjourn this hearing."

Nguyen, wearing a grey sweatshirt, listened in the dock to the judge through a Cantonese interpreter and spoke only to confirm his name during the brief hearing.

Sentencing was adjourned to February 9.