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A mum who raised money for a homeless couple to stay in a hotel over Christmas has been slapped with a £1000 cleaning bill - after they TRASHED the hotel room.
Kind-hearted Louise Elliott, 32, raised £640 for well-known local homeless man Lewis Holley and his girlfriend Stacey to stay in an Ibis Hotel to celebrate their Christmas Eve anniversary.
But she was shocked to discover that the kind deed had been wasted as a window was smashed, the TV was ripped off the wall and the carpets were so dirty they have to be replaced - with the couple doing a runner.
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 found discovered that after the first night in the hotel, the homeless couple asked staff if they could check out and keep the money instead - but the request was denied.
She added: '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.'
Hotel manager Sam White said he expects the damage to come to about £1,000 in total.
He said: 'After the first night’s stay they asked my reception team if they could check out and have the cash instead of accommodation.
'We did not allow this. 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.’