A conman who ran up four-figure bills at Lincoln hotels before disappearing without paying has been jailed for 30 months.
Neil Baumber made a series of excuses as to why he could not pay his bills leaving behind a trail of unpaid debts.
His targets included the Tower Hotel, the White Hart Hotel and the Doubletree by Hilton in Lincoln as well as smaller guest houses.
Baumber also tricked a pub barmaid from Saxilby into paying him £520 for a “cheap” designer handbag and pocketed her money without producing the goods.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that at the time he was still on parole licence after being released early from a previous jail sentence imposed for similar offences.
Baumber, 39, of Station Road, Collingham, admitted six charges of dishonestly obtaining services by deception and a further charge of making a false representation for gain on dates between June 14 and August 10. He asked for a further five similar matters to be taken into consideration.
Recorder Simon Medland QC ordered him to repay a total of £4,349 to his victims in compensation.
The Recorder told Baumber “You learned no lessons from your last sentence and you went on to commit very similar offences again. Businesses were defrauded. These were not insignificant sums of money.
“If you commit offences of this manner again the sentences will get longer and longer.”
Nikki Forster, prosecuting, said that the latest series of offences began when Baumber booked into the Tower Hotel in Westgate, Lincoln, for an eight-day stay. He produced a credit card and ran up bills of £1,400 on his accommodation and meals. On leaving, he rebooked and said he would settle the bill when he returned but later contacted the hotel claiming he had been admitted to hospital.
The bill was never paid but a few days later he booked into the White Hart claiming his home address was in Chiswick, West London. He booked for seven days with his bill for his room, meals and a bar bill coming to £1,270.
This time he claimed to be awaiting the arrival of a credit card and disappeared without paying. Again, he e-mailed the hotel claiming he had been admitted to hospital and was not in a position to return to settle the bill.
Miss Forster said Baumber ran up further bills during stays at the Hilton Hotel, the 202 Guest House in West Parade, Lincoln, and the Admiral Guest House on Nelson Street in the city.
He also left behind a £35 bill for unpaid taxi journeys and befriended a barmaid at the Anglers’ Hotel in Saxilby before convincing her could supply her with a cut price Louis Vuitton handbag for £520. She handed over the money but the bag never materialised.
Miss Forster said: “She was aware of the defendant. She knew him to be quite cocky and to have a lot of money but she thought he was a trustworthy person.”
Sunil Khanna, defending, said that at the time of the offences Baumber had personal problems and booked into the hotels at times when he was thrown out by his partner.
He said that at the same time Baumber was attempting to establish a business and chose to use his available money to support his new enterprise rather than pay the accommodation bills.
“He tells me that he wants to serve his sentence and try to come out and go straight again.”