Pub fraudster sent to prison for eight months

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Crime Public houses in the united kingdom United kingdom

Pub fraudster sent to prison for eight months
A serial conman who fleeced licensees out of hundreds of pounds has been jailed for eight months.

David Brown targeted several pubs with accommodation in small towns and villages, booking rooms, running up a large tab and then using fraudulent cheques to pay the bill.

Last week he was sentenced to eight months at Exeter Crown Court in Devon. Brown also asked for 20 similar cases, from as far afield as Inverness and Wales, to be considered.

Earlier this year, the Publican’s Morning Advertiser revealed that Jon Hutchings, of the White Hart Hotel in Holsworthy, Devon, helped track down Brown after he had paid his £100 bar tab with a worthless cheque.

Hutchings trailed him to his next target’s pub — the Black Horse in Torrington, where he was arrested.

At the time, a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed 55-year-old Brown was charged with four counts of fraud.

Hutchings said: “It’s good that he’s gone to prison but I didn’t feel the sentence was long enough for the number of crimes he has committed. I just think he’ll do four months and then be out again doing the same thing.

“Everyone needs to be on the lookout and be very wary of people that want to pay by cheque. I hope that we have enough measures in place for this not to happen again.”

Bev Hayler, of the Black Horse, who lost £35 because of the incident, added: “I’m quite happy about it, but I feel he should have got a lot longer.

“He’ll just come out and do it again. We have been taking extra measures since he targeted the pub, by asking for a deposit upfront.”

In 2004 Brown, also known as Ben St James, was sentenced to six years in prison following a string of offences.

He was caught at the White Horse in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, after host Dave Craven saw a picture of the offender in the Publican magazine.

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