Teenager uses his father's credit card for £12,000 spree
By Richard Alleyne
A teenager who took his father's credit card and racked up almost £12,000 in a four-day spending spree yesterday blamed his privileged upbringing.
Tom Smith, 17, said that as a child his parents had given him anything he wanted but, since entering adulthood, their generosity had waned.
Tom Smith with some of the goods he bought on his spree
So when a request for new clothes was refused, he took his father's credit card while he was out jogging and embarked on an epic spending spree.
He claims that he first flew to Rome where, having checked into a £340-a-night hotel, he splurged £7,130 on clothes in Italian boutiques.
His haul included a £544 Versace coat, a pair of Prada trousers costing £326 and three pairs of Dolce and Gabbana jeans totalling £870. To carry his new purchases, he bought a £1,632 Louis Vuitton suitcase and a £544 matching bag, which he later gave to his sister, Rebecca, 16.
Bored with retail therapy, the former pupil of the £15,000-a-year St Edmund's College, Herts, paid £360 to hire a limousine to go sightseeing.
Returning to Gatwick, he claims he hired another limousine, picked up three friends in London and went to Brighton to "see the sea".
The teenager booked two £250-a-night rooms at a four-star hotel. His limousine bill for two days came to more than £1,900.
He paid £860 for a Sony video camera to record his exploits before returning to face the music from his parents John and Megan, both 49, at their home in Victoria Park, east London, on Jan 30.
Despite a dressing down and a police investigation, Tom Smith, who wants to be a fashion buyer, was unrepentant yesterday. "I am not sorry I spent the money because I have lots of lovely things. I have wanted some new clothes for a while."
The teenager said his parents were furious with him. "My father said I was a 'little sh*t' and he has not spoken to me since. At first, he was really p****d off and I don't think he is talking to me at the moment. He just grunts into the newspaper when I try to talk to him."
His father, a £100,000-a-year corporate surveyor, who claims that he reported the credit card stolen as soon as returned from his jogging run, refused to comment yesterday as did Mrs Smith.
It is believed that MasterCard will consider taking legal action against Tom in order to recoup the cash.