A film student has admitted carrying out a series of "eat-and-run" thefts at London restaurants to impress his "high maintenance" girlfriend, the Evening Standard reported.
Janis Nords, 28, pleaded guilty to nine counts of not paying for goods and services - 5,000 pounds in restaurant bills - when he appeared before Westminster magistrates.
AdvertisementNords and his girlfriend, who was not identified, went to L'Oranger in St James's, running up a food and drinks bill of 1,021 pounds, the newspaper reported.
Waiters became suspicious during the meal when Nords continually left the restaurant to have a cigarette. They asked him to go back inside and pay the bill but after producing a Visa card, he left as it was being put through.
Staff chased and detained him and when police were called he told them: "I've done this three times before."
The previous day Nords and his girlfriend racked up a bill of 349 pounds at the Glass House restaurant in Kew before leaving without paying and earlier this month ran out on a bill of 969 pounds at the Connaught Hotel.
Nords, from Latvia, asked for six other similar offences to be taken into consideration.
The Standard first revealed how police were hunting an alleged fraudster who vanished from the Michelin starred L'Autre Pied in Marylebone after failing to pay the 573 pounds bill last week.
Bruce Reid, representing Nords, said he committed the crime to impress his "high maintenance" girlfriend, who was unaware he was not paying, according to the report.
Reid said his client, who is in London studying for an MA at the National Film School, was from the "old school way of thinking" where men pay for everything.
"He was trying to impress a girl who comes from money. I also suspect there was an element of fantasy in Mr Nords' thinking in trying to dine in the high end restaurants," the Standard quoted the lawyer as saying.
Nords, of Stoke Newington, is due to be sentenced later this month and was remanded in custody.
His girlfriend was arrested and questioned by police but was released without charge., the newspaper said.
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