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article imageJail for serial restaurant freeloader who refused to pay bill

By Katerina Nikolas     Jun 14, 2012 in World
Exeter - With a string of 86 previous convictions for refusing to pay his restaurant bill after dining out, a serial freeloader was jailed for fraud and sent down for 16 months.
Christopher Travis, 52, from Exeter, Devon, breached an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) for the thirteenth time when he dined at Michael Caines’ Abode restaurant at the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter.
The Daily Mail reported the ASBO banned Travis from every restaurant in Britain due to his habit of deliberately ordering restaurant meals with no intention of paying for them.
When he ordered a three course meal with wine at the Abode he had only been out of prison for three days, and told police he wanted to have a good meal before going back into custody. Sentencing him at Exeter Crown Court the judge said "There is a depressing repetition of offences and a depressing repetition of you being given chance after chance in the past.
Nothing justifies going into a smart restaurant and ordering a three course meal and a bottle of wine when you cannot pay."
Travis's defence lawyer told the court her client "doesn’t choose (the) bottom end of the scale when targeting his restaurants. He knows full well he cannot pay, that is why he accepts it fully when the police arrive."
In Britain it is a criminal offence to order a meal in a restaurant if there is no intention to pay for it. Meanwhile Travis will be eating porridge at the expense of the British tax payers.
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