They claimed to have their own bus, gatecrashed parties across Britain, and engaged in extravagant orgies on washing machines.

But now the Facebook Republican Army, a gang of twenty-somethings who targeted teenage celebrations advertised on Facebook, say they never actually existed.

Referring to themselves as "every parent's worst nightmare", their activities have been reported in the British press for almost a year, most recently this past week. For a while it seemed that no one's teenage children — or home appliances — were safe.

But speaking to The Times, Steve O'Brien, their supposed ringleader, said that the lies had gone on too long.

"It was a bit of a laugh," the 25 year-old plumber from Brighton, on the Channel coast south of London, said. "But it is now getting to the stage where it could be damaging for my job. I am looking yobbish [loutish], and I want to set the record straight."

Earlier this week, three national papers reported that a $1.5 million home in Brighton had been "trashed" after gate-crashers swelled the numbers for the 16th birthday party of Georgina Hobday from 100 to 400.

The "horror show" devastation included a broken shed window, a dirty carpet, and second hand accounts that someone may have headbutted a mirror.

• Click here to read the rest of this story in the Times of London.

• Click here to read about the Facebook Republican Army's antics.

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