A student who ran a scam of visiting high-end restaurants and walking out without paying, racking up more than £5,800 in unpaid bills, has been banned from central London for a year.
Janis Nords, who was last week arrested, has been barred from entering six of London's most exclusive postcodes after pleading guilty to nine counts of not paying for goods and services. City of Westminster magistrates' court also ordered the 27-year-old to return to court on 14 December with a plan for repaying the money he owed.
Nords' case came to prominence last week, after L'Autre Pied in Marylebone fell victim to his scam when he dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant with his girlfriend, ordering two bottles of Champagne and food, racking up a bill of £572. Before eating their desserts, the pair asked for their coats to go outside for a cigarette but never returned.
CCTV footage of Nords and his dining companion was then released to the press, with the case making headlines across the national media. Following the story it emerged that Nords had targeted several other high-end restaurants in London including the Michelin-starred Glasshouse in Kew, where a bill of £349 went unpaid, and the Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze restaurant at the Connaught hotel, where the bill was £965.
Other restaurants affected include Pearl at the five-star Renaissance Chancery Court hotel, where Nords and his companion racked up a bill of around £570; and Le Cercle in Chelsea, where the pair consumed food and drinks amounting to around £400.
But Nords' spree came to an abrupt end when he was arrested at L'Oranger in St James last week, after being detained by staff when attempting to leave without paying a bill worth £1,022. Waiters became suspicious when he repeatedly went for a cigarette and demanded he come back inside to pay. He ran away immediately after handing over a Visa card, but was chased and detained by staff.
Once arrested, Nords admitted to having played the same trick at nine restaurants across London, with his lawyer insisting he'd committed the crime to impress his "high maintenance" girlfriend, who was also arrested but later released without charge after telling police she was unaware of the scam.
District Judge Daphne Wickham yesterday banned Nords from entering six of London's most exclusive postcodes for 12 months. "They are the places that have all the expensive restaurants. You are not to go into any part of that area at all," she said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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