A conman who racked up a £2,400 bill at a four-star hotel by posing as a professional rugby player was caught out because staff thought he was too fat to be a top sportsman.
According to the Daily Mail, Christopher Hoare, 30, registeredat Eastwell Manor, a Pride of Britain hotel in Ashford, Kent, under a fake name in October.
A court heard that he gave receptionists a fraudulent credit card number and claimed a fictional body called Sports England Training was picking up the tab.
But the hotel manager became suspicious when he wore the same outfit for several days running and noted his overweight appearance, Canterbury Crown Court heard. The manager called Natwest bank and was advised to call police.
Hoare was arrested by Kent Police and admitted false representation and theft.
He was on the run after committing a string of offences.
Tom Dunn, prosecuting, said: "Mr Hoare had been wearing the same clothes for a few days and appeared, putting it neutrally, not to have the physique and healthy appearance that one might associate with a professional rugby player.
"That, combined with the general attitude, made the hotel manager not quite believe him."
Hoare had boasted to the hotel owner how he was a rugby player on transfer from Cardiff Blues to London Wasps during his six-night stay at the four-star hotel in Ashford, Kent, which charges up to £445 a night.
Hoare was spared an immediate prison sentence by a judge at Canterbury Crown Court after he admitted false representation, theft, criminal damage and harassment.
After Hoare split with partner Leanne Cooke in September he stole her laptop, smashed her money jar, slashed her bras and tops in two and sent her text messages threatening: "I promise I will make headlines with my antics."
Hoare then used her details to stay four nights at Manchester's Chancellors Hotel before turning up at Eastwell Manor.
Handing Hoare a suspended jail sentence, Judge James O'Mahony told him: "You have behaved as a complete conman. You used your quantities of intelligence and ingenuity, using all the modern media and aspects of contemporary life, to rip off other people.
"You clearly have a serious problem with gambling that means you were driven to commit offences. If you had only used the intelligence and ingenuity you obviously have, things might have improved."
He added: "If you don't do what you are told, back here you come."
Hoare, of no fixed address, admitted five charges of false representation, two of theft, one of criminal damage and one of harassment.
He was handed a year's jail - suspended for two years - a year's supervision order and 150 hours of unpaid work.
John Fitzgerald, defending, said: "It's quite clear gambling is at the heart of all his offending. He knows his life will be of little value until he has conquered that addiction."
By Amanda Afiya
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