A Newquay hotelier has warned other operators to be on guard after helping prosecute a man who posed as a guest to defraud the hotel out of a meal and champagne.
Anthony Stephem Murphy was ordered to pay the Headland hotel £207.85 and £85 costs by Bodmin court after using a guests name and room number he'd overheard in reception to order a meal for five friends and a bottle of champagne.
Headland hotel general manager Veryan Armstrong said it had been an audacious attempt but one that needed to be punished to prevent it happening again.
"Once the family checked out and realised the services on their bill weren't correct we looked at all our CCTV and saw a man hovering in the background as they checked in," Armstrong added.
"The chap had gone down to one of our restaurants with a table of six and had a slap up lunch and a bottle of Bollinger champagne. He put it all on the room and name he'd overheard, signed for it and walked out of the front door. Fortunately we had it all on CCTV."
"He now has an electronic ankle bracelet and a curfew and has to send us a cheque to cover the meal.
"It was an audacious attempt and it was so frustrating that we pushed hard for him to be prosecuted and stop him doing it again to another business."
As a result reception staff no longer announce guests room numbers in order to be a little more discreet.
"But my parents have had the hotel for 32 years and we've never seen this before," Armstrong said.
By James StaggDine-and-dash scammer appears in court >>