18 Dec 2014

This cheat didn't prosper

A Kensington doctor, who pleaded guilty to charges under the Fraud Act 2006 after he sublet his council home for profit, has been given a community order of 135 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay full costs of £7,613.75 at £650 a month at Isleworth Crown Court.

At an earlier hearing on 11 November, at the same court, Dr Babiker Babiker, 40, formerly of Bramley House, Kensington, W10, admitted to making a monetary gain by subletting the property.

Dr Babiker had applied to buy his council flat under the Right to Buy scheme which would have given him up to a £75,000 discount off its market value. However, during the valuation process concerns were raised that Dr Babiker and his family were not using the property as their main and principal home. These concerns were relayed to the Council’s Fraud Investigation Team which then carried out a thorough investigation which established that Dr Babiker had in fact sublet the flat to another family while he and his family were living in North Wales.

At the original hearing His Honour Judge Dugdale commented that council homes were a limited resource let at a reduced rate.

During the sentencing hearing on 15 December Dr Babiker said he was trying to help the sub-tenant, who needed somewhere to live. Judge Reid, sentencing, said that Babiker had shown no remorse and described his actions as a “piece of thoroughly dishonest behaviour.”

Speaking after sentence was passed Councillor Rock Feilding-Mellen, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
The pressure on social housing in London is acute. It is totally wrong therefore that a Council tenant, who receives such a scarce resource, should then seek to profit by renting it to another family while living elsewhere. I am very pleased that the court has taken such a dim view of Dr Babiker’s actions. I want to thank the Council officers who, when alerted to possible wrong doing, investigated this case. We will always be vigilant to possible housing fraud and take all steps to ensure it is punished.
The Tenant Management Organisation for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has now repossessed the property.

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