Restaurant ban thief can still have his chips
A court has slapped a criminal behaviour order on a man to stop him fine dining.
From now on Neil Rogers must give up his taste for gourmet food washed down by expensive wines and stick with takeaways.
It is believed it is the first time the new form of ASBO has been used.
The restriction imposed on Rogers means he can only eat out at places in the UK where he must pay in advance such as fish and chip shops and burger takeaways.
The two year order “food for thought” order was imposed on Rogers by Blackpool magistrates on top of a 24 week jail term suspended for two years and a 24 week curfew .
Rogers was described by prosecutor Jim Mowbray as “an inveterate thief and fraudster with a horrendous record for this type of offence”.
The court heard how Rogers, 45, of Newton Drive, Blackpool, enjoyed impressing his friends by inviting them out for dinner at leading eateries.
At Ego in Lytham, a specialist Mediterranean restaurant, Rogers ran up a £248 bill before paying with a credit card he knew would be declined.
And at Zen. an Asian fusion restaurant in St Annes, Rogers’ bill went to £187 before he left without paying.
At Margaritas, a nearby Italian restaurant, he ate and drank his way through food and drink costing £122 before arguing with staff, who then took his photograph and reported him to police.
Roger pleaded guilty to nine similar offences and asked for 13 others committed in Blackpool, Clitheroe and Blackburn to be taken into account.
He also admitted running up taxi bills as a high as £84 a time going on his nights out and not paying the drivers.
The prosecutor added:”I am asking for a criminal behaviour order to kerb this man’s serious and persistent offending.
“From now on he must pay for food in advance of eating it which means no sitting down in restaurants and running up vast bills on food and wine knowing he has nothing with which to pay.”
Trevor Colebourne, defending, said: “I gather he does this to impress his friends and make out he is some sort of bon viveur.”
“When confronted about his lack of funds by restaurant staff he does give his real name and address which shows some honesty – you don’t normally rob a bank and leave such details behind.”
Sentencing Rogers who now has over a century of convictions to his name chairman of the Bench Brian Horrocks told him: “Basically this criminal behaviour means you pay up front before you eat like you do with fish and chips.”