Hotel guest who left without paying £750 bill caught after Facebook appeal
A man who fled a luxury hotel without paying has been caught after the owner launched a Facebook appeal to find him and his girlfriend.
Robert Grant, 30, and his partner, Mandy Paterson, 30, spent Valentine's weekend enjoying fine wine, food, and flowers at Knock Castle Hotel & Spa in Crieff, Scotland, before leaving without paying the £749.25 bill.
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At the time, the owner, Jason Henderson, posted a picture of the pair leaving the hotel on Facebook, and offered a reward to find them.
Grant, from Edinburgh, has now been found and appeared at Perth Sheriff Court and being responsible for the fraud.
Paterson had been charged but the case against her was dropped.
The defending solicitor told the court that Grant claimed he believed the room had been paid for by a friend who sold it onto him after being unable to make the trip.
According to the Herald Scotland, Sheriff Simon Collins said: "I find the explanation offered in mitigation to be implausible and in any event it provides no excuse."
He ordered Grant to pay the full sum in compensation within 28 days and also fined him £550.
According to news.stv.tv, Mr Henderson said outside court: "It's disappointing and very upsetting that this has happened. Myself and all the staff work so hard to sustain the business.
"To me it's not about the 750, it's about highlighting what these people have done and making sure they don't do it again. It's a matter of principle.
"All we expect is people to pay their way, and I wouldn't like this to happen to anyone, whether they are our rivals in the market or not."