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Past catches up with hotel guest who skipped £735 bill for luxury stay

Tuddenham Mill hotel  Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Tuddenham Mill hotel Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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A hotel guest has been ordered to settle the £735 bill he avoided paying for a four-star weekend break in the Suffolk countryside.

Ryan Presley was brought before magistrates more than a year after he failed to appear at court to face charges for theft and making off without payment at Tuddenham Mill, near Bury St Edmunds.

The 26-year-old admitted skipping the bill after police executed an arrest warrant at his parent’s address in Silver End, Essex, on Tuesday morning.

Appearing in Ipswich the next day, he also pleaded guilty to taking a £200 telescope from the hotel and leaving a nearby pub without paying £27.35 for a meal.

Prosecutor Tess Mann said Presley and his former partner enjoyed two days of hospitality at the hotel in late November 2016.

When a wedding party arrived, they left without the bill being paid by Presley, who also took a telescope he accidentally damaged during their stay, which ended with a meal at the White Hart pub.

“The defendant claimed to be unaware of the outstanding bills and made no contact with either hostelry,” added Mrs Mann, who explained Presley was given a 12-month community order for fraudulently selling a go-kart six weeks earlier, but had failed to complete any of the unpaid work requirement or repay the money.

David Allan, mitigating, said Presley was aware of the bills but insisted his partner had no knowledge of the scam.

“He was in a difficult situation with his go-kart business at the time,” added Mr Allan.

“He agreed to look after a go-kart, which he left in the care of someone else who sold it, but Mr Presley admitted the fraud.

“He didn’t undertake the requirements of the community order, and things got worse after a breach hearing in May when he was kicked out of his address and lost his job, leaving him on the streets of Brentwood with nothing to his name.

“He is now working and has built bridges with his family, but still hasn’t dealt with his past.

“He should have made enquires about his requisition to court, but did not deliberately absent himself from proceedings.”

Presiding magistrate Andrew Wade told Presley: “Your past is catching up with you”, before imposing a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and warning he would go to prison for failing to comply.

Presley must also pay £934.99 to the hotel and £27.35 to the pub.

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