A homeless man with a taste for the finer things in life walked into a five-star hotel, ordered a steak and bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne then left without paying.
Michael Andrew Phillips, 52, ran up a £400 bill when he decided to treat himself to a slap-up meal at the posh Old Court House hotel in Jersey.
Staff told him he was not allowed to remain in the bar without ordering food so he ordered prawn cocktail, ribeye steak and several drinks including champagne.
He then asked for a room in the £150-a-night hotel overlooking St Aubin harbour, before ordering two more bottles of wine. Phillips handed over his driving licence as proof of his identity but then walked out of the hotel without paying, taking the wine with him.
He was tracked down and charged with criminally and fraudulently obtaining food and lodgings. Phillips, of no fixed above, admitted the offences at the island’s magistrates’ court.
Centenier Amanda Wright said:
‘He had prawn cocktail, ribeye steak, wine and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. ‘The bill was not paid and he asked for a room. He gave his driving licence as identification and had two bottles of unopened wine on him as he headed toward the hotel room.”
Mrs Wright said that there was no sign of him in the hotel the next morning and no indication he had slept in the bed. Phillips was later arrested and positively identified by staff. He told police he had very little recollection of the evening.
Advocate John McCormick, defending, said Phillips suffered from mental health problems and had not been taking the correct medication at the time.
‘My understanding is that he is currently excluded from the various shelters and that includes Sanctuary House.’
The court arranged for Phillips to attend an immediate appointment at the community mental health services who would try to find accommodation for him.
Magistrate Bridget Shaw told Phillips:
‘You were not on the right medication at the time. ‘As long as you keep taking your medication, there is no reason to believe that you will do anything like this again.’ She ordered him to repay the hotel compensation equal to its losses and he was bound over to be of good behaviour for 12 months.