Restaurant ‘runner’ ran up £175 bills - then fled

NON-PAYMENT ... Gavin Cole ran up two restaurant bills, totalling �175, and left both without paying.
NON-PAYMENT ... Gavin Cole ran up two restaurant bills, totalling �175, and left both without paying.

A BOOZY out-of-work joiner ran up restaurant bills worth a total of £175 in two South Tyneside restaurants – and then left without paying.

Gavin Cole ordered numerous Jack Daniel’s whiskeys, vodka and half pints as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet at Kylin, in Ocean Road, South Shields, on June 18.

When the 36-year-old tried to pay the £60 tab, his card was declined and he fled the Chinese restaurant.

Two weeks later, he ran out of nearby Da Vinci’s after running up a £115 bill by feasting on fillet steaks, spirits and a £40 bottle of wine.

Cole, of South End, Cleadon, pleaded guilty to two counts of making off without paying for a service at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “His bank card was declined twice in the Kylin buffet. The staff said he had been ordering stronger drinks as the night went on.

“They were suspicious of him and he was asked how he intended to pay.

“His bank card was declined and he said he would go back the next day to pay.”

Mrs Guest said that when Cole left Da Vinci’s, staff called the police, who found him staggering along Ocean Road.

She added: “There were three people in the restaurant but he was responsible for paying the bill.

“He said he didn’t have anything to pay with. He tried his card but it was declined.”

The court heard Cole was asked to leave the restaurant after becoming abusive and started swearing.

He told the police that he thought some wages would have gone into his bank account, but they hadn’t been.

Magistrates heard that Cole had been convicted of drink-driving and shoplifting twice this year and once of possessing a Class A drug.

Daniel Pygall, defending, said: “He’s due to start work next week.

“When he’s out of work he ends up going on massive benders, and this is one of them.

“He doesn’t know why he acts like this when he is out of work.

“On both occasions he didn’t go to the restaurants with the intention of not paying, but under the influence of alcohol he doesn’t think straight.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until Wednesday for the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report about him.

* A WOMAN accused of being at Kylin restaurant with Cole was also due at the court yesterday but failed to turn up.

The court heard that Stella Ames, 27, was unable to attend because she couldn’t get a babysitter.

She also faces a charge of making off without paying for a service.

Ames, of Gosforth Avenue, South Shields, will appear at South Tyneside Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazCrime