A DRONFIELD man who fled without paying for hotel rooms left court with a bill for more than £1,000.
Father-of-two Jack Higgins, aged 31, ran up large bills for food and drinks during a two-week fraud committed while he was homeless.
Magistrates at Chesterfield heard that he spent six nights at the Cross Scythes Hotel in Totley.
He then stayed at the Travellers Rest in Brough, near Castleton, Derbyshire, the Millstone Inn in Hathersage and the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, Bamford.
Higgins told staff at the inns that he was working in the local area near the hotels and his boss would be calling in to pick up the tab.
But his credit card, which had a limit of only £200, was not authorised during a test transaction at the Yorkshire Bridge and he paid in cash there after being challenged by the owner.
“He said in interview he had been offered a job labouring in Manchester by a man he met at a motorway service station,” said Becky Mahon, prosecuting.
Higgins stated that his new employer had offered to pay his accommodation expenses for him.
The phone number he gave for his boss belonged to his ex-partner.
Higgins, of Quoit Green, Dronfield, admitted fraud between July 23 and August 7.
He was ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work and pay £971 compensation, with £85 costs.
His solicitor Stephen Burdon said he had an acrimonious split from his wife and had to give up work as a market trader.
“He had nowhere to live and borrowed a pal’s van.
“He followed a hopeful promise of work and believed he could stay in these hotels without really checking anything.
“The offences were borne out of stupidity and he was unaware of the card’s credit limit,” said Mr Burdon.
He added Higgins had been offered work with a landscape gardening company in Harrogate.