Conman who went on trips with stolen travel agent booking codes jailed

‘Walter Mitty’ conman who took selfie with Fernando Torres during first class flight as he spent £44,000 on luxury trips using stolen travel agent booking codes is jailed for nearly three years

  • Adam Griffiths, 30, posted photographs to Instagram as he lived a life of luxury
  • He funded luxury holidays by stealing computer pass codes from travel agents 
  • Court heard how Griffiths lied about contracting the deadly Ebola virus in 2014
  • Griffiths was jailed for two-and-a-half years at hearing at Swansea Crown Court

A conman dubbed a ‘Walter Mitty character’ by a judge has been jailed after booking £44,000 worth of exotic holidays using stolen travel agent booking codes.

Adam Griffiths posted photos online as he lived a life of luxury on yachts and in business class on flights to destinations such as Dubai and Singapore.

The 30-year-old funded the holidays by stealing computer pass codes from travel agents Tui and Burgess.

Photos posted to Instagram show Griffiths posing with magnums of champagne and luxury vodka, as well as rubbing shoulders with Spanish footballer Fernando Torres.

Photos posted to Instagram show Griffiths posing with magnums of champagne and luxury vodka, as well as rubbing shoulders with Spanish footballer Fernando Torres (shown)

Photos posted to Instagram show Griffiths enjoying the high life on a rented yacht in Dubai

However the boastful images were a far cry from Griffiths’ modest council home in Swansea, Wales. 

On Friday, Griffiths was jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Griffiths regularly deceived others, including in 2014 when he claimed to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus after a trip to Africa and was taken to a special infectious disease unit.


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Griffiths claimed to have worked for a private military contractor, said he was involved in counter-terrorism.

He said he had fought Islamic State and pretended to have links to Scotland Yard. He also has convictions for impersonating police officers.

Sending him down, a judge described him as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ – a reference to the eponymous character in the James Thurber novel who leads a fantasy life.

Adam Griffiths posted photos online as he lived a life of luxury on yachts and in business class on flights (pictured) to destinations such as Dubai and Singapore

A court heard how Griffiths regularly deceived others, including in 2014 when he claimed to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus after a trip to Africa (pictured)

Part of Griffiths’ make-believe life involved projecting an image on social media of a high-flyer travelling to exotic places and meeting famous people – usually with magnums of Champagne or trendy vodka.

One of the photographs shows him relaxing aboard a private yacht off Dubai, which he is understood to have hired for the day, with the exclusive Burj al Arab seven star hotel in the background. 

On Friday, Griffiths was jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud

Travelling in style features a couple of times in Griffiths’ social media posts including one image of him jetting home from Dubai in business class – this Instagram post came complete with the hashtags £LuxLife £Champagne £JetSet.

Elsewhere on Instagram he posted a photograph of airport cocktails on the way to North Africa.

A bit closer to home Griffiths, of Penlan in Swansea, also boasted on Twitter about having ‘one of the best suites’ at the Celtic Manor resort near Newport – and posted this picture of himself with seven bottles of Moet Champagne.

At his sentencing hearing his advocate Andrew Evans said his client may have ‘self-worth’ issues and seemed to need to create a persona that was respected and admired.

He said Griffiths had had a difficult background and ‘feels a desperate need to be accepted’ and to be an authority figure or even an heroic figure in eyes of others. 

Sending him to prison for the travel agent frauds, Judge Geraint Walters described Griffiths as ‘something of a Walter Mitty character’ who lived a persona far removed from the reality of his real life. 

A judge described Griffiths as a ‘Walter Mitty character’ – a reference to the eponymous character in the James Thurber novel who leads a fantasy life

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