The Man Himself
Michael Andrew Phillips, a 52 year old homeless man, had a £400 meal at the five-star Old Court House hotel in Jersey. The staff told Phillips that he couldn’t stay at the hotel bar unless he ordered something. In response, he ordered prawn cocktail, a ribeye steak, two bottles of wine, and a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne.
He then asked for a room, which costs £150 a night. He gave them his driving license as proof of his identity, but left shortly afterwards, taking the bottles of wine with him. Staff found the next morning that there was no sign of him, and no indication that he had slept in the room that he had requested.
Caught and Tried
Philips was later tracked down, arrested, and identified by staff. He told police he had little recollection of the evening or its events. He was charged with criminally and fraudulently obtaining food and lodgings, which he admitted to.
John McCormick was his defending advocate. He said that Phillips suffered from mental health problems and had not been taking his medication at the time. McCormick also said that “My understanding is that he is currently excluded from the various shelters and that includes Sanctuary House.”
The court arranged for Phillips to go to an immediate appointment at the community mental health services. This was to help him find accommodation.
Judge and Sentence
The Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, told Phillips that “You were not on the right medication at the time. As long as you keep taking your medication, there is no reason to believe that you will do anything like this again.”
She ordered him to repay the hotel in compensation that is equal to the losses he created. He was also told that he must exercise good behaviour for the next 12 months.