Homeless couple causes £1,000 worth of damage after their stay in a hotel over Christmas

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    A generous mum who raised hundreds for a homeless couple to spend Christmas in a hotel has been left with a £1,000 cleaning bill after they trashed the room.
    Louise Elliott, 32, raised £640 for a well-known local homeless man Lewis Holley and his girlfriend Stacey to stay in an Ibis Hotel to celebrate Christmas Eve and their second anniversary.

    But after they left she discovered they had smashed the window, torn the duvet, tried to rip the TV off the wall and made the carpets so dirty they had to be replaced.

    Since then she has heard nothing from the couple who have been refusing to answer her calls.
    Louise, from Reigate, Surrey, said:

    “To say I am gutted is an understatement. “I am disgusted and absolutely heartbroken.

    “The hotel room was found to be in a total mess. “The window was badly damaged and has to be replaced, someone has tried to rip the TV off the wall and a new carpet has to be put down. “The mattress was left in a state and the whole room was so dirty and horrible.

    “The hotel told me it took two members of staff two hours to clear all the rubbish out of the room. My heart sank when I found out.”

    Louise later discovered that after the first night, the homeless couple asked staff if they could check out and keep the money instead – but the request was denied.

    Louise said:

    “We feel like fools. “It was the time of year for goodwill and generosity. “So many kind people went out their way to try and do something nice at Christmas but it has turned into a nightmare. “I am so sorry for the people who gave money.”

    Before Christmas, the mother had shared photographs of the room and of the gifts she had given the couple.
    These included some cash for them to enjoy, as well as wrapped Christmas presents, a letter to each of them and even toys for their pet dog Bonnie.

    Louise said:

    “We also bought them a food hamper, one person donated £50 in shopping vouchers, others gave Christmas and anniversary presents and there was £50 in cash for them as well.”

    She said:

    “I’ve tried to call and text but now it’s going straight to voice mail.”I think they’ve blocked me.”I wanted them to be out of the cold and not just have the cash.”I am gutted it has ended this way.”

    Sam White, general manager at the hotel, said he expects the damage to come to about £1,000 in total.

    “I found out about the damage to the room on January 2 when a member of staff called me. “I’ve never seen a room that bad in my many years of hotel management.

    “We have specialist glass in our windows due to being near the airport and one side of the pane has been badly smashed.

    “The TV has had to be replaced because the screen was cracked from where someone tried to rip it off the wall. “The duvet and bed topper went missing as well. “We are part of the Gatwick Hotel Association and I’ve made our other members aware of this.”

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