A PROFESSIONAL fraudster who stays at hotels without paying his bill has been jailed again.

Mark Anthony Chapman, pictured, had already served prison terms for similar offences in North Yorkshire before he booked into the Grange Inn in York, the Palm Court Hotel in Scarborough and another hotel, said Andrew Semple, prosecuting.

On each occasion, Chapman phoned up the hotel beforehand, giving a false name and an invented credit card number.

“He stays in their rooms, eats their food and leaves without paying,” said Mr Semple.

When each hotel tried to get their money using the fake credit card number, their request was refused.

Released on bail, Chapman duped the George Hotel in Selby the same way.

Chapman, 39, of Albemarle Road, Scarborough, who has also used an address in Barton-le-Willows, in the past, pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud by false representation and admitted skipping bail.

He asked for the theft of a bottle of champagne and two other fraud offences to be taken into consideration.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, told him: “Against my better judgement, I decided to give you a chance.

“I am afraid the day of reckoning is here.”

He jailed him for 30 months.

Chapman had originally appeared before the judge at York Crown Court for sentence in August but the judge deferred sentence for six months to see if he could lead a law-abiding life.

The champagne theft occurred during the deferment, the day before Chapman was due to meet a probation officer who was writing a report on his progress.

He failed to attend York Crown Court on the deferred sentence date and had to be arrested on warrant in Grantham, Lincs.

David Camidge, mitigating, said Chapman had thought everything had been adjourned until April following his appearance on the theft matter before York magistrates a few days before the deferred date.

He had been going through a difficult time due to a family bereavement. He had gone to Grantham to visit a friend.

Mr Semple said the cost of the meals and accommodation in the offences came to £1,884.