Lee Tyers, a 40-year-old from Mount Leven Road in Middlesbrough, has been jailed for an outlandish attempt to get out of paying his bill at a local curry house. The court heard that he complained about hair in his curry, before refusing to pay the £39.55 bill. However, on closer inspection, it turned out to be his own pubic hair.
And he's not the only restaurant chancer to push his luck.
Hair-raisingSky reported that Tyers had been visiting the restaurant for the past 18 years, but the owner told the court he was owed £110 for previous meals. Tyers promised he had the cash to pay on his visit in November last year, but after eating most of it he claimed there was hair in his food and refused to pay the bill.
According to The Mirror, The restaurant-owner noticed that the hair was brown, and given that the restaurant staff all had black hair, he was suspicious. A check of the CCTV footage from the curry house showed Tyers had put his hand down the front of his trousers just before calling the waiter over.
The Daily Mail reported that the food was disposed of, Tyers refused to answer any questions about the incident, and he denied fraud. However, he was found guilty of fraud by false representation at Teesside Magistrate's Court, and jailed for two weeks. He was also ordered to pay his bill.
ScamsIt's an outlandish attempt to get out of paying for his dinner, but he is far from alone in pulling this sort of stunt.
In March this year a 47-year-old man was jailed for ripping off pubs and restaurants across the North of England over a five year period. He would consume expensive meals, and before the bill arrived fake a serious illness and ask staff to call 999. In some instances, he would finish his meal while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
A film-maker from North London was banned from entering the most exclusive postcodes in London in 2010, after dining in a number of very expensive restaurants and sneaking out without paying. His most high-profile theft was from L'Autre Pied in Marylebone, where he and his girlfriend racked up a bill of £572, before asking for their coats so they could go outside and smoke - and never returning.
Another popular scam is where someone complains that an order that has been delivered previously was incorrect, and asks for a free replacement. A woman in Michigan tried this at a number of local pizza restaurants. Unfortunately for her, the restaurants were all owned by members of the same family, so they warned each other about the woman, and called the local news.
One UK diner has taken a more straightforward approach. He has 40 convictions for eating meals in restaurants and pubs and then simply refusing to pay. He has been banned from every restaurant in Britain, but has breached that order 14 times. In February this year he was jailed again for the same offence.