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Man refused to pay after seven-hour stay at Cambridge restaurant

A 64 year-old man spent seven hours at a Cambridge restaurant and then refused to pay.

Paul Rockett, of no fixed abode, dined at Frankie & Benny’s, in Clifton Way, on December 27 - despite a criminal behaviour order banning him from entering any restaurant in Cambridge without the means to pay.

Rockett entered the restaurant at 4.40pm and did not leave until past 11pm, when site security were called by the manager.

During his time in the restaurant, Rockett had ordered and eaten £52 worth of food and drinks, including a peach sundae, crab bites, penne meatballs and a double Jack Daniels. At 11pm he refused to pay the bill, claiming it showed an incorrect date.

In police interview, Rockett claimed he went to the restaurant “to survive”. He said he didn’t know he had a criminal behaviour order, despite it being issued at court.

Rockett pleaded not guilty to breaching a criminal behaviour order, making off without payment and failing to comply with a sex offender’s notification requirement, by not presenting at a police station once a week, but was found guilty following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court last month.

On Friday (10 May), at the same court, Rockett was sentenced to a total of 34 weeks imprisonment. He was also issued with a criminal behaviour order of two years with the same requirements as his previous one, banning him from entering any restaurant in Cambridge without the means to pay.

Pc Brad Munday said: “Rockett never had any intention, or means, to pay for his food and knew the consequences of dining in Frankie & Benny’s. It’s regrettable he’s found himself in this position but, simply put, he broke the law.”

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