A HOTEL guest who made off without attempting to pay a bill of nearly £3,000 has been sentenced at court in Cornwall.

Benjamin James-Dyer, 27, of Alderwood Parc, Penryn, originally pleaded not guilty to the offence of fraud by false representation but was later convicted.

A charge of making off without payment was withdrawn.

The offences took place in Falmouth between November 19, 2020 and December 16, 2020, where Dyer committed fraud in that he dishonestly made a false representation, namely informed staff at the Lerryn Hotel in Falmouth that he would pay for his stay at the hotel, intending to make a gain, namely that he would be able to avoid paying the sum of £2,599.00 for his stay at that hotel.

The prosecution's counsel, Charlie Barrass-Evans explained to the court how Dyer had checked in to the hotel, left, and then returned again, without attempting to settle his bill.

Barrass-Evans told the court that, after some time, it became apparent to the hotel manager that Dyer's partner had also been staying in the room and, because of this, the price would double.

Dyer then gave various excuses as to why he couldn't settle the bill, including one where he claimed his employer had cash flow problems which meant he had yet to be paid.

Andy Housman, the hotel's owner, initially gave Dyer the benefit of the doubt and asked for his passport and bank card.

Dyer was then told that his bill had reached £2,000 and he claimed that his father would be the one paying the bill.


On another occasion, he told the hotel that he had applied for a loan and that he was employed as a builder.

Eventually, Dyer came clean with the hotel and told them he had been lying and that he was in a financial mess and did not have the means to pay the bill.

The hotel's management emailed Dyer telling him that they would need the payment by 5pm the following day, however, the emailed bounced back.

Dyer left the hotel on December 16, 2020 and, upon inspecting his room, the hotel found that a windowlock had been damaged to the value of £100.

The hotel had also been quoted £4,000 for the scaffolding needed to install it the new window lock.

The court also heard how Dyer had, since 2020, turned his life around, entering into a new relationship and engaging with a drug support group.

He was also currently training as a carpenter and was in a much more stable financial situation than he had been at the time.

Dyer was given a community order and made to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work, as well as pay £2,599 in compensation.

When sentencing Dyer, Judge Robert Linford told him: "You checked into this hotel in Falmouth and you didn't pay this bill.

"You came up with all sorts of ridiculous excuses."

"In my view, 100 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community, if you do that, that's the end of it."

"I'm not going to make a victim surcharge."