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Gloucestershire Business News

Dine and dash man sentenced

A man who dined in two restaurants immediately after they had re-opened following lockdown but did not pay his bills has been jailed for eight weeks.

Paul Miles, 48, went into a restaurant in Cheltenham last Monday, April 12th - the day eateries were allowed to-open in England - and ran up a £46.65 bill for food and drink.

He tried to pay with a stolen bank debit card and when that did not work he just walked out.

The next day Miles went to another restaurant in the town and had a slap up meal costing £87.19. He tried to leave without paying but was stopped by staff who detained him until police arrived.

The next day he was taken before Cheltenham Magistrates and admitted two offences of fraud.

He was jailed for eight weeks and banned for five years from entering any pub or restaurant in Gloucestershire without having the means to pay.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said today "Paul Miles pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Wednesday 14 April to two counts of fraud after he ordered and ate food and drink without paying for it.

"The court also granted a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order which prohibits him from entering any pub or restaurant in Gloucestershire without having the funds, or the ability, to pay immediately for any food or beverage ordered there and then.

"Miles, of The YMCA House, Cheltenham, had entered a restaurant in Cheltenham on Monday 12 April, the first day outdoor hospitality could open after being closed during lockdown.

"He ordered food and drink worth £46.65, and after consuming it he tried to pay with a stolen debit card. When this card did not work, he said he could not pay and left the premises.

"The following day, Tuesday 13 April, he entered another Cheltenham restaurant and again ordered and consumed food and drink to the value of £87.19 and tried to leave without paying. However, he was stopped by staff and detained until police arrived.

"Miles was then remanded overnight and received an eight-week sentence the following day after pleading guilty. He was also ordered to pay £133.84 compensation plus £212 in other costs."

PC Andy Plant added "The restaurants have been closed for some time now causing financial loss and hardship to employers and employees alike. Miles has compounded those difficulties by knowingly ordering food and alcohol that he had no intention of paying for.

"Gloucestershire Neighbourhood Policing teams have supported our businesses by applying for this order and were really pleased with the outcome.

"Once released, if Miles enters any restaurant in Gloucestershire and orders food or beverages without being able to pay he will be arrested and remanded to the next available court."

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