Man to spend Christmas in jail over unpaid hotel bills

The man who treated himself to a Christmas holiday at the five-star Hayfield Manor and leaving without paying his bill of over €3,000 and similar offences totalling €3,000 at two other Cork hotels and a guesthouse over the holiday period last year will spend this Christmas behind bars.

Mark Howell, aged 36, was jailed yesterday for 18 months with the final 12 months suspended.

Referring to the accused doing a runner during his sentencing earlier this month, Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said that did not augur well for the defendant’s chances of committing to rehabilitation.

“For this man to panic so quickly his resolve for rehabilitation was questionable,” the judge said yesterday.

Dermot Sheehan, defence barrister, said of Mark Howell, “He felt he was going to prison. Mentally he was not prepared for that.

“For a man with a poor relationship with the probation service he is doing well with them now. He was suffering from drugs and alcohol addiction at the time.”

Compensation of €1,000 was offered by Howell out of the unpaid bill of over €6,000. The judge ordered that the Vienna Woods and the Blarney Stone should have the compensation 50/50 between them.

Howell was sentenced on charges of using false credit card details and leaving without paying for several nights of accommodation and services at each place, the Vienna Woods, Hayfield Manor, Oriel House in Ballincollig and the Blarney Stone guesthouse on Western Road.

Howell pleaded guilty to all of them. At the time he had an address at Blarney St and later moved to rented accommodation in Mallow.


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