Homeless alcoholic pretended to be TV star Louis Theroux to stay at £70-per-night hotel

He was only rumbled when he asked staff for two bottles of wine and “some fags” to be taken to the room

Con: Allan Debenham, left, and Louis Theroux
Con: Allan Debenham, left, and Louis Theroux
PA/Getty

A homeless alcoholic stayed at a hotel for three nights and put two bottles of wine on his room tab after conning staff into believing he was TV star Louis Theroux, a court heard today.

Allan Debenham, 39, booked a £70-per-night room and gave pub staff a fake contact for the BBC’s finance department plus an order number to sort payment.

He pretended he was the star’s PA and was only rumbled when he asked staff for two bottles of wine and “some fags” to be taken to the room.

Prosecutor Emma Chetland said: “The person taking the call becomes suspicious at the use of the word ‘fags’.

“They call the number that was left and find it unobtainable and call the BBC, who tell them the order number is not one they recognise.”

Staff at the Duke of York in Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, called police and officers found Debenham, of Taunton, had booked a taxi in the name of Theroux to take him to the pub.

The firm was told the driver may not recognise Mr Theroux as he had “put on a bit of weight”, but to bill the £14.70 fare to the BBC.

Chris Ivory, defending, said: “He was desperate and he didn’t have anywhere to go.

“He managed to get a couple of nights free accommodation and he accepts the prosecution case in respect of that.

“April was a month that was pretty much a blur to him.”

Debenham admitted dishonestly making false representations and will be sentenced later.

Yeovil magistrates heard he is getting help after he turned to booze when he lost his job, partner and home last year.

After the case, Louis Theroux tweeted: “I love that it wasn’t his appearance that tipped them off but the fact that he asked for “fags” not “cigarettes”.

“I am partial to a bottle of cava though.”

 

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