Homeless fraudster left Norwich hotels with unpaid bills as he enjoyed luxury life
PUBLISHED: 15:49 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:50 26 June 2019
A homeless fraudster enjoyed a life of luxury as he ran up £8,000 in unpaid bills at Norwich hotels, a court heard.
William Poindexter, 62, checked into three Holiday Inns at Ipswich Road, Norwich Airport and Drayton Road, leaving a total unpaid bill of around £3.000.
He also booked a suite at the George Hotel, in Arlington Lane, before disappearing without settling his final bill.
Norwich Crown Court heard the crook, who had just been released from prison, left smaller bed and breakfasts and guest houses in the city out of pocket during the spree - before finally getting caught when he was recognised trying to make another booking.
Chris Youell, prosecuting, said Poindexter used a number of excuses to avoid paying the bills, often presenting credit cards which were later declined, and even claiming on one occasion to be in the accident and emergency unit.
He said one of the biggest bills was when Poindexter stayed in the Garden suite at the George Hotel running up a bill of £2,926.
He said: "He was living in some luxury at that point."
Poindexter has 22 convictions for 83 offences going back 45 years with a number of previous convictions for this type of fraud and when arrested claimed his latest fraud was because he found himself homeless on prison release.
He told police he did not want to live on the streets.
Mr Youell said that Poindexter had no cash to offer any compensation.
Poindexter admitted eight charges of fraud between September and December last year.
Andrew Oliver, for Poindexter, said he was released from prison in August last year and had nowhere to live. "Rather than sleep on the street he had an option to stay somewhere so he could get a job."
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He said that Poindexter did get work, in December.
Jailing him for nine months, Judge Katharine Moore said they were "mean" offences and said: "You book accommodation, you stay but you don't pay. The main loser was the Holiday Inn."
She said she had every sympathy with people made homeless but said: "What is not justified is what you have done time and time again. Quite cynically you put yourself first and chose in some cases a high standard of accommodation knowing full well you were not going to pay for it."