Woman gets suspended jail term for making off without paying for stay at seaside hotel

The Bayview Hotel

A  woman who made off without paying for accommodation at a seaside hotel has received a suspended prison sentence.

Charlene Irwin, of Clooneen Drive, Ballymoney, pleaded not guilty to making off without payment on October 30 last year following a two-day stay at the Bayview in Portballintrae.

Deputy District Judge Noel Dunlop convicted the 34-year-old of the offence following a contested hearing at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Friday.

Irwin did not give evidence but her lawyer said she had called the police herself after money she had been expecting failed to arrive.

She had intended to come back back and settle the bill but was on benefits and hadn’t been able to obtain the necessary funds from her family.

However, the prosecutor insisted that Irwin had no intention of paying for the room and no means to settle the bill.

Judge Dunlop said: “I’m satisfied there was criminal intent and she had no intention to pay.”

He imposed a three month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and warned Irwin to keep out of trouble, giving her 26 weeks to pay the outstanding £501.90 compensation.

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