A suspected serial conman has been arrested after he was recognised by coincidence in a trendy bar.

David Nepia Carroll appeared in Auckland District Court yesterday and was remanded in custody to reappear tomorrow.

The 41-year-old of no fixed abode was charged with two counts of taking a cheque.

A number of accommodation providers - including Julia Woodhouse of Piha - have complained of being owed money.

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Others have complained to police of being fooled by a gay, charming and very effeminate conman.

Carroll had a warrant out for his arrest, he had featured on Police Ten 7 and had been the subject of articles in this newspaper.

But it seems his luck ran out on Friday night at the Herne Bay Local bar when he got chatting with a group of friends, one of whom was Julia's son Henry Woodhouse.

Woodhouse, a lawyer, had never met Carroll but soon realised who he was after a "gut feeling" and asking one of his group how she knew him.

"He'd told her that he came back from Greece and had a boyfriend over there. The penny dropped because that's what he told my mother. As soon as that happened I said: 'Right, it's on'."

Woodhouse texted his mother with his suspicions and she replied with a photo of Carroll previously published in the Herald on Sunday.

Taking care not to alert Carroll, Woodhouse, 31, told his friends to keep Carroll occupied while he stepped out and phoned his mum who called police. Carroll bought the group a platter of food and carried on chatting and drinking until four uniformed officers arrived about half an hour later.

"He'd told my friends his name was Sam," said Woodhouse. "But the police said: 'David, you need to come with us.' He immediately got up and went. The game was up."

In court, Carroll was neatly dressed in a grey polo neck jersey. He had very short hair and listened attentively to magistrate David Grove, who remanded him in custody until tomorrow.

Julia Woodhouse was "elated and in disbelief" that Carroll had been identified by her own son.