Restaurant diner who refused to pay for six-hour meal is jailed

A diner who spent more than six hours eating in a restaurant and then refused to pay the bill has been jailed for 34 weeks.

Paul Rockett, 64, ordered dishes including crab bites, penne meatballs and a peach sundae at a Cambridge branch of Frankie & Benny’s, Cambridgeshire Police said.

He washed them down with drinks including two double whiskeys and two bottles of cider, with the bill totalling £52.91.

He entered the restaurant at 4.40pm on December 27 and at 11pm he refused to pay the bill as he claimed it showed an incorrect date, police said.

He left when the restaurant manager called site security.

He was later interviewed by police and claimed he went to the restaurant “to survive”, the force said.

Rocket, of no fixed address, was found guilty of making off without payment during an earlier trial at Cambridge Crown Court, police said.

He was also found guilty of breaching an order banning him from entering any restaurant in Cambridge without the means to pay.

Rockett, who was also convicted of failing to comply with a sex offender’s notification requirement, was jailed for 34 weeks and given a two-year order banning him from entering any restaurant in Cambridge without the means to pay.

PC Brad Munday said: “Rockett never had any intention, or means, to pay for his food and knew the consequences of dining in Frankie & Benny’s.”

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