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'Fake' Chelsea footballer jailed for four years

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NEWS
Modified 23 Oct 2014, 10:52 IST
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Fake Chelsea player Kakuta
Medi Abalimba (L) and Gael Kakuta (Image from BBC)

London, Oct 23 An impostor who pretended to be a Premier League club Chelsea footballer Gael Kakuta has been jailed for four years.

Medi Abalimba, 25, posed as Gael Kakuta and spent £20,000 on a spree in Selfridges, stayed at top hotels and even hired a helicopter, Xinhua reported local media as saying Wednesday.

Manchester Crown Court heard Abalimba, of Burton Street, London, once earned £20,000 a week when playing for Derby County but slipped down the leagues due to lack of discipline and commitment.

He called up venues and pretended to be the Chelsea winger before turning up, the court heard.

The former footballer continued living the high life by staying in the best rooms in the finest hotels in London, running up bar tabs of thousands of pounds and being chauffeur-driven around in a Bentley.

He had stints as a professional player with Derby, Oldham Athletic, Southend United, Fulham and Crystal Palace and once commanded a transfer fee of more than £1 million pounds.

He started a four-year jail term Wednesday after admitting 12 offences of fraud and dishonesty, in London, West Yorkshire, Manchester and Derby.

He had 19 other offences taken into consideration, totalling a loss to those defrauded of 163,000 pounds.

Published 23 Oct 2014, 10:47 IST
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