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Fraudster left 'calling card' after failing to pay his hotel meal bill

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A garda gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Fahy. (stock photo)

A garda gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Fahy. (stock photo)

Niall Carson/PA Wire

A garda gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Fahy. (stock photo)

A serial fraudster who made off from a hotel without paying for a meal and drinks left his "calling card" behind, a court heard.

Sean Fahy (51) left a credit card but when staff tried to use it to pay his €53 bill, it was declined.

Fahy was jailed for three months for the offence, after a judge was told it was his 28th similar crime and his 161st conviction.

The accused, of Falls Road in Belfast, pleaded guilty to failing to pay for the meal.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at the Temple Bar Hotel, Fleet Street, Dublin, last September 10.

A garda gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Fahy.

The accused was handed a copy of the charge sheet, he said.

The garda told the court Fahy entered the hotel and ordered food and drinks which he consumed, leaving a credit card behind.

When staff members tried to use the card, it came back declined by the bank, the garda said.

Record

"He left his calling card behind," Fahy's solicitor Eoin Lysaght told the judge.

Judge Michael Walsh asked for an outline of the accused's previous criminal record.

The court heard Fahy had 160 previous convictions, 27 of which were for "similar offences".

He had been in custody for some time and was detained at Wheatfield Prison when he appeared in court.

Fahy had attended a treatment centre and had "a lot of" problems with drink and was trying to deal with that the best he could, Mr Lysaght said.

He asked the judge to be as lenient as he could in the circumstances.

Judge Walsh said he would give the accused credit for his guilty plea, but said the offence was his "28th conviction of this nature".

Sentencing him, he said the three months would run from the date of the court hearing.

The judge granted free legal aid, assigning Mr Lysaght.

The judge also fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.

The charge against the accused was under the Theft And Fraud Offences Act.

He was not required to address the court during his hearing.