Couple skip out on £150 restaurant bill

The couple as caught on CCTV

A young couple ran up a £150 bill for dinner in a Suffolk gastropub last Friday, enjoying steak and fine wines - before jumping over a wall of planters and disappearing into the night.

CCTV footage shows the pair tucking into a platter of cold meat, soup, two steaks and chocolate pudding, all washed down with two bottles of expensive Italian wine, as well as three cognacs and four liqueurs.

But when they'd eaten their fill, they jumped up and made a run for it, leaping over a row of planters - and taking an unfinished bottle of wine with them.

Brendan Padfield, owner of the Unruly Pig, in Bromeswell, near Woodbridge, said the couple arrived about 6.15pm and asked to be seated outside, where they remained eating and drinking for three hours.

"They wanted to eat outside – and they ate rather eagerly. Uniquely, they stayed outside as others came inside when it became a bit parky," Mr Padfield tells the Ipswich Star.

"To leave normally, they would have needed to pass the entrance – but they hopped over the fence and ran off with a bottle of unfinished wine. It seems improbable that they forgot to pay."

However, the whole event was caught on CCTV - and the police already have a lead.

"Following inquires, including reviewing CCTV evidence, Suffolk Police have identified two suspects in relation to this incident and are currently conducting inquiries to locate them," a spokesman tells the Daily Mail.

In the age of CCTV, spending three hours in a public place before committing a crime is unwise, to say the least.

Last year, another 'dine and dash' criminal was caught after CCTV footage was released, and sentenced to 120 hours' community service - as well as being ordered to pay the £500 bill.

And one man, Neil Rogers, was earlier this year ordered to stick to cafes and takeaways after magistrates ruled he couldn't be trusted to pay a bill. He had pleaded guilty to nine offences and asked for thirteen others to be taken into account - as well as admitting to running up taxi bills without paying.

Mobile order and payment specialist QikServe has today released a survey revealing that 12% of British people have left a restaurant without paying. More than half claimed they'd done it because they were having to wait too long for the bill or couldn't find any staff to pay.

"We were surprised to learn that so many people admitted to skipping out on a bill, but we believe this higher than expected number is a sign of the times," says QikServe CEO Daniel Rodgers.

"We live in an age of instant gratification, driven in part by the ubiquity of mobile devices and apps, where consumers are becoming increasingly less tolerant towards waiting."

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