December 11 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 22, 2013
The efforts of a felony-fighting restaurant owner in Bungay are being aired on the BBC next week as part of a programme highlighting how the British public is fighting crime.
It comes after Mark Hougham, 39, owner and head chef of The Castle Inn, helped with the arrest of a career criminal who had targeted the pub and restaurant last year.
David Brown stole cash and a cheque book, which he then used to fund crimes at other independent hotels and restaurants up and down the country.
Mr Hougham explained: “At first he was really nice and spoke with my wife and even played with our child. During his time staying here he really was charming but he got caught on our CCTV breaking into our till and our office.”
For months Mr Brown used the cheque book to pay for hotel rooms and meals but eventually he was arrested after Devon-based landlord Jon Hutchings, of the White Hart Hotel, Holsworthy, raised the alarm.
“The man had made his way from Southwold originally, then Bungay, Halesworth, Diss and across country before eventually ending up in Devon,” Mr Hougham said.
“Eventually he got caught.
“He had used our cheque book to pay for things but the cheques would bounce – this guy caused me a lot of aggravation.”
Mr Hutchings became suspicious after Mr Brown refused to present a cheque guarantee card, so he followed him to his next target’s pub – The Black Horse, in Torrington, Devon.
Mr Hougham said: “Jon used his initiative to follow the guy to another pub and carried out a citizen’s arrest.
“We are really pleased this guy has not got away with his crime and the BBC have done a great job of exposing him.”
Mr Brown went to prison in October 2012 for eight months.
The new BBC One series Fightback Britain aims to show how people are making life tough for criminals by capturing evidence for the police using cameras, computer software, amateur detective work and sometimes even putting their own lives in danger.
• Mr Hougham’s episode will air on Monday 26 August at 8.30pm.