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Grenfell Tower fire: Stafford man beaten up at protest in case of mistaken identity

Staffordshire | News | Published:

A volunteer helping people impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire was attacked by activists storming Kensington Town Hall - who mistook him for a businessman involved in the tower.

Protesters try to enter Kensington town hall in west London, the headquarters of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Robert Outram, from Stafford, was assaulted when protestors entered the council officers on Friday.

The father-of-two, a financial consultant whose firm is employed by Kensington and Chelsea Council, has been left with a 'lump on the side of his head'. He is also shaken by the incident.

MORE: Three more Grenfell Tower victims named, as death toll rises to 79

It is thought the 56-year-old, who was dressed in a suit, was mistaken for a boss of a firm involved in the tower.

In fact, Mr Outram, whose firm Westgem Consultancy Ltd is based in Lichfield, was volunteering at the makeshift shelters set up to help victims of the deadly blaze.

At least 58 people are believed to have died in the fire that started on the fourth floor of the 24-storey tower in the early hours of Wednesday morning, before engulfing the rest of the building.

The council has been criticised for its response to helping the around 400-600 families who lost their homes in the blaze as well as failing to provide adequate support or information about missing loved ones.

During the protest at the town hall last Friday, Mr Outram and a colleague were pushed to the ground and had water poured on them.

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It came after someone shouted 'it's them two'.

MORE: Minute's silence held to honour Grenfell Tower victims

​His wife, Angela Outram, said: "He got a big bang on the head, he was thumped, he’s been left with a lump on the side of his head. He was really shaken up by it all.

“He had nothing to do with any of this. In fact, he's been volunteering to help the victims.

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"The council didn’t warn anyone about this protest. His picture is online with the wrong name attached to it.”

Mr Outram was head of income collection at Islington Council before setting up his own company, Westgem Consultancy, which provides debt recovery advice and interim management to public and private sector clients.

The protest was called to demand justice for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Despite appealing for calm, the initially peaceful demonstration quickly descended into unrest as dozens of people forced their way into the council’s offices, demanding answers from officials on what they were going to do about the disaster. The town hall was subsequently closed due to the damage caused.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
@alexross_star

Chief Reporter at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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