A TRICKSTER who posed as the Duke of Marlborough while spending more than £2,000 at a five-star hotel on a suite and drinks he never paid for has been warned he could be jailed.

Alexander Wood lived a “life of luxury” while racking up bills of £10,330 over six weeks by assuming different aliases at exclusive hotels in London, a court heard.

Prosecutor Beverley Akinbile said the 33-year-old had booked into five hotels posing as aristocrats including the 12th Duke of Marlborough, Lord Jamie Spencer-Churchill.

She added: “On May 27, Mr Wood arrived at The Great Northern Hotel. He had previously booked that hotel room under the name of Lord Jamie Spencer, the Duke of Marlborough.

“The cost of the room was £1,878 and the arrangement was he had £100 per day to spend – he was to be there for four nights.”

However, she told Southwark Crown Court on Monday that staff became suspicious when Wood was spotted treating people to expensive drinks in the bar.

Wood also assumed false identities to rack up thousands of pounds of unpaid bills at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Victoria, Mayfair Hotel, the Radisson Blu in Canary Wharf and the Radisson bordering the Natural History Museum.

Ms Akinbile said Wood had also posed as a British Airways employee and claimed the company would pick up his tab.

When confronted about his identity, Wood offered to come down to the lobby to settle his bill, but then walked out without paying, the court heard.

Wood was finally caught on July 10 after leaving the Mayfair hotel for the last time without paying.

Wood admitted 10 fraud charges as well as two charges of making or supplying articles for use in fraud, relating to purchase orders he fabricated for rooms at two hotels he did not stay at.

Judge Alistair McCreath said Wood claimed he had committed these crimes because he was on the run from a dangerous criminal.

He added: “What he said is that he committed these offences because he was in fear of a dangerous criminal who had made death threats to him and he had nowhere to go, other than to hide.”

Wood, of Westcliff Park Drive, Southend-on-Sea, was remanded in custody to be sentenced at the same court on September 21. A spokesman for Blenheim Palace said Lord Spencer-Churchill refused to comment on the case.

He inherited the title of Duke of Marlborough after his father John Spencer-Churchill died, aged 88, last October.

Mourners lined the streets of Woodstock while his his coffin was taken by carriage from his 11,500-acre estate to the private service in the town.

The 7th Duke was the grandfather of Winston Churchill.