Pharmacist who used fake bills to claim four-bed Finchley Road flat is jailed

Abdul Kowsor outside court after his initial sentencing was delayed

Abdul Kowsor outside court after his initial sentencing was delayed - Credit: Harry Taylor

A pharmacist has been jailed for one year for fraud after forging documents and subletting his Arkwright Mansions flat, owned by Camden Council.

Arkwright Mansions on Finchley Road

Arkwright Mansions on Finchley Road - Credit: Harry Taylor

Abdul Kowsor, 33, of Ennerdale Close, Cardiff pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court to falsely claiming residency at Arkwright Mansions, Finchley Road, for 15 months. He also admitted perverting the course of justice in relation to documents he provided at a county court case.

The four-bedroom council flat had previously belonged to his grandmother, and he had applied to take over its occupancy when she died.

On Friday, he was sentenced to eight months for fraud, and 12 months for perverting the course of justice. The sentences will run concurrently.

The sentencing was due to be a week before, but the defence and prosecution agreed to a delay after initial judge Michael Simon informed them he had previously sat as Chair of the General Pharmacutical Council’s Fitness to Practice committee.

Mr Kowsor runs a chain of small pharmacies in South Wales, in addition to being a pharmacist himself.

A different judge passed the sentence a week later.

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The court heard that on October 20, 2015, Kowsor applied to the council to take over the flat.

He then claimed he had lived there since July 2014 with his wife and father, and provided Lloyd’s bank statements with this address, despite living in Cardiff.

When this was challenged by Camden Council, Mr Kowsor provided a signed witness statement backing up his claim.

He also provided Thames Water, British Gas, BT and Sky bills linked to his name.

However the council’s housing investigations team found the bills were fraudulent.

On March 31 last year, he was interviewed under caution by the borough’s investigations officers and admitted supplying false documents to get his tenancy.

He then vacated the flat. The council believes the loss of a four-bedroom flat for 20 months meant the council paid out £37,300 to house families in housing and temporary accommodation.

He has now paid Camden Council this sum in compensation.

Mary Mcgowan, Camden’s housing director, said: “We will continue pursuing cases like this to ensure our housing goes to Camden residents who truly need it and to show we won’t accept tenancy fraud.”