A charlatan who fraudulently tricked his way into a luxury hotel in Kensington among a string of others across the capital has been jailed.
Alexander Christopher Wood would assume aliases including the Duke of Marlborough when he booked into the accommodation, and then billed British Airways.
He was jailed for three-and-a-half years at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday (December 9) after previously pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud by false representation.
The court heard how the 34-year-old had made reservations for himself at Edwardian Group Hotels on 10 occasions between 18 June and 11 July under the false name of Mr Palmer and on at least one occasion claimed to be the Duke of Marlborough.
The bookings were made using different email addresses that claimed to be making reservations for a British Airways employee and instructed the hotel to invoice the cost of the reservation to the airline. The 11 frauds totalled more than £8,000.
Throughout his month of reservations, Wood stayed at the Radisson Blu in Cromwell Road, South Kensington, the Grange Wellington and The Mayfair Hotels, both in Westminster, and another Radisson Blu at Canary Wharf.
At The Mayfair, he racked up a bill of £2,399.50, and told staff to charge it to British Airways. During the other hotel stays he also charged items to room service.
Wood, from Southend-on-Sea, admitted using the high profile hotels and its amenities and claimed he had targeted them because he knew they could bear the cost of the financial loss.
He further claimed to have received death threats from a man currently serving a life sentence in prison, and was staying at the hotels under a false identity out of fear for his own safety.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Keeley Pemberton from Westminster CID, said: “This was an audacious and brazen string of offences committed over a prolonged period of time.
"The regularity of the offences committed by Wood undoubtedly played a part in bringing his crimes to notice.”