Man who posted dead body image in wake of Grenfell fire 'shocked' by jail term

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A man jailed for posting pictures of a dead body on Facebook in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire has said he regrets his actions but was shocked to be jailed for three months.

Omega Mwaikambo, 43, told BBC Newsnight he knew it was "morally wrong" to take pictures of the loosely covered corpse hours after the blaze struck the block of flats in Kensington in June.

But he told the programme he had been "traumatised" by what he had seen, describing the blaze near his home as being like 9/11 but "real in front of my eyes".

Omega Mwaikambo
Omega Mwaikambo (Met Police/PA)

He said: "I took the picture, I didn't do anything wrong, just a picture. I didn't steal, I didn't kill. I didn't commit any crime that I know is ... high risk."

He added: "I couldn't believe it (the sentence) was that long. Not that I was expecting a short time but that length of period of time to be in prison really shocked me."

At least 80 people were killed in the disaster in West London, currently the subject of a public inquiry led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Mwaikambo, of Testerton Walk, close to the base of the Grenfell Tower, pleaded guilty to two offences contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He was sentenced to six weeks for each offence, to be served consecutively.

He told Newsnight he used his iPad to take pictures when he came across the body close to his home.

He said he accepted people would be angry at what he did at 5am on June 14, and he felt "so bad".

But he added: "I was in and out of my senses but I was really struggling to compose myself.

"That body was not meant to be there in the first place, regardless of what ... I could understand that there was something massive happening outside, but it should not be kept in that place, in a patch of dirty water. That really messed my head up."