A BUILDER lived the high life with his girlfriend at a four-star hotel and racked up a £1,400 bill – then left without paying.
James Wilson, 22, spent more than two weeks with his girlfriend Holly Macey at The Langstone Hotel on Hayling Island.
But, after days of ordering food, drinks and room service, hotel staff found the room had been cleared of their belongings and the couple were gone.
Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard how Wilson, of North Avenue, Hilsea, had left his parents’ home after an argument.
The couple checked into the hotel on February 28 after booking online for one night.
After informing staff they were extending their stay, they jointly paid £500 after five days.
But the court heard that on March 17 the couple left after repeatedly being asked by staff to pay up.
Prosecutor Anthony Johns said: ‘When the defendant left he did not check out in the usual way.
‘The hotel manager went up to speak to them and found there was nothing there other than a pair of pants.
‘They were gone.’
Mr Johns accused Wilson of wanting to live ‘the high life’ but at ‘somebody else’s expense.’
Magistrates heard Wilson had arranged to get a £3,000 loan but it had fallen through.
The court was told Miss Macey’s family were regulars at the hotel and had held weddings and christenings there.
Hotel manager Clint Marsh said: ‘He gave me a copy of a letter that said the money was in the account and it was just clearing.’
He added: ‘We unfortunately could not extend the stay any longer. We could not take that risk.’
Wilson was arrested by police on March 29 at the Inn Lodge, in Burrfields Road, Portsmouth, and later charged with dishonestly making off without paying.
Miss Macey, 19, was not charged as it was assumed Wilson would cover the bill.
Wilson, who had pleaded not guilty, told the court: ‘We did not sneak out.
‘Both families have spent a lot of money there in the past.
‘This is a civil matter – there was no criminal intent.’
He said he expected his building jobs to cover the cost.
He said: ‘I am not a wealthy man with money to burn.
‘Sometimes you get a flush week in my work.’
But magistrates found Wilson guilty of the offence. He will be sentenced on July 15.