Stuntman paralysed on Harry Potter set ‘broken’ after losing thousands in scam

David Holmes said the conman was 'so convincing and so personable'

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived (Sky)
David Holmes was targeted in a scam. (Sky)

Daniel Radcliffe’s former stunt double – who became partially paralysed on a Harry Potter set – has told how he was left feeling “broken” after he was scammed out of thousands of pounds.

David Holmes, who was paralysed from the chest down after breaking his neck on the set of 2010's Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, was the victim of a telephone scam. It resulted in a large amount of money being taken from his bank account.

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, he revealed how the money was for his care and to help him “escape the pain of winter”. “Anybody with any injuries knows that it’s painful in winter,” he said. “Well with a broken neck, it’s excruciating.”

The former stuntman told hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard that he had had a call from someone claiming to be from the NatWest fraud team, who had personal details such as his address and knew that it had been his birthday the day before. The person also knew he had cryptocurrency linked to his card and suggested transferring funds to a “secure wallet”.

While his mum eventually realised something fishy was going on, it was too late and Holmes lost thousands. “I was pretty broken,” he said.

Holmes taped the phone call but can't listen back to it, saying it’s “as emotionally triggering as trying to watch my accident, me breaking my neck”.

David Holmes said he felt 'broken' after the scam. (ITV screengrab)
David Holmes said he felt 'broken' after the scam. (ITV screengrab)

“It’s pretty dark, you know, the way someone can just deceive to like that,” he went on.

Holmes said the person scamming him was “so convincing and so personable in the transaction”. “All the information that he knew about me, I just… Hook, line and sinker,” he said.

“I’m not naïve, I do a lot of things, and unfortunately I was very vulnerable at the time. When it comes to birthdays, with my debilitating condition I always ask myself, ‘Where am I going to be next year and the year after?’”

“The NatWest fraud team have been good in helping me with the money lost within NatWest so at least I can pay for my cost of care and stuff like that… £10,000 from NatWest,” he said.

“But the rest of the money, the cryptocurrency, I have got to hope and pray that one, my very expensive insurance company might be able to help me with it. And two, there is a company I am working with that I reached out straightaway to… and they said that possibly, and there is no guarantee, but we might be able to put a stop on the funds.”

The former stuntman opened up on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)
The former stuntman opened up on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)

Holmes said it was important to him to share his story in a bid to warn others “because I’ve got to find a silver lining on this”. “We need to have better protections in place,” he added.

A NatWest spokesperson told Yahoo: “Criminals are continually evolving the ways that they target our customers. We are sorry for the distressing experience Mr Holmes has had. We have been in touch to make sure we have all the right information in respect of his case and we will continue to support him through this process.”

Holmes was a stunt double for Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. He was injured in 2009 during rehearsals for a fight scene in The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. He broke his neck and was in hospital for several months and now uses a wheelchair.

He has remained close to actor Radcliffe, and last year his story was told in the documentary David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived.

David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived (Sky)
David Holmes with Daniel Radcliffe in The Boy Who Lived. (Sky)