Visitor jailed for unpaid guest house bill
A Canadian man was sentenced to 30 days in prison yesterday for trying to leave the Island without paying his $8,000 tab at a guest house.
But Ruth Paynter, manager of Clear View Suites and Villas, told The Royal Gazette last night she did not agree with the sentencing.
“I did not want that man in prison,” said Ms Paynter. “If he doesn't have the money, I don't want him locked up.”
Ms Paynter said she had not been able to speak with Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner, who sentenced 66-year-old Neil Crane, of Scarborough, Ontario, to 30 days imprisonment, with time already served on remand taken into account.
“I've been trying to call the Magistrate to ask for [Crane] to be let go, but they won't even let me speak to him,” she said.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Carrington Mahoney told this newspaper: “The sentence has been handed down.” He added that “unless she wants to pay for a lawyer to appeal the sentencing” there was nothing that could be done.
Crane was arrested last week at LF Wade International Airport after he failed to pay his $8409.49 bill for staying at the Hamilton Parish guest house from July 25 to September 7.
Crane admitted theft when he appeared at Magistrates' Court for the first time on September 9.
He told the court: “I didn't realise the bill was as high as it was. I was a guest and I thought it was taken care of by another individual.”
He said he'd be able to pay the bill if he was allowed to return to Canada, a request denied by Mr Warner, who remanded him in custody.
Returning to court yesterday, Crane claimed he had every intention of paying the bill but simply didn't bring enough cash to the Island. He also said he had been unable to contact his colleagues for assistance.
Crane told Mr Warner: “I will find the funds right away. Trust me.”
But Mr Warner said: “I am of the view you have no intention of paying this.”