Conman who racked up 2,400 hotel bill pretending to be a top rugby player was caught when staff realised he was 'too fat'
Christopher Hoare, 30, said he was playing for London WaspsStaff became suspicious because he 'lacked the physique' of sportsman
Serial fraudster was on the run from police at the time
16:36 GMT, 26 December 2012
A conman who racked up a 2,400 bill at a luxury hotel by posing as a professional rugby player was caught out because staff thought he was too fat to be a top sportsman, a court heard.
Christopher Hoare, 30, registered at top Kent hotel Eastwell Manor under a fake name in October.
He gave receptionists a fraudulent credit card number and claimed a fictional body called Sports England Training was picking up the tab.
Christopher Hoare racked up a 2,400 bill during a six-night stay at the Eastwell Manor hotel in Kent before he was caught by police
But the hotel manager became suspicious when he wore the same outfit for several days running and noted his overweight appearance, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
He called Natwest bank who advised the hotel to call police.
Hoare, a gambling addict, was arrested by Kent Police and admitted false representation and theft.
He was on the run after committing a string of offences from Cardiff to Manchester.
Tom Dunn, prosecuting, said: 'Mr Hoare had been wearing the same clothes for a few days and appeared,
putting it neutrally, not to have the physique and healthy appearance
that one might associate with a professional rugby player.
'That, combined with the general attitude, made the hotel manager not quite believe him.'
Hoare had boasted to the hotel owner how he was a rugby player on transfer from Cardiff Blues to London Wasps during his six-night stay at the four-star hotel in Ashford, Kent, which charges up to 445 a night.
The court heard on April 13 Hoare stole a man’s phone and used his identity to take out a 150 payday loan.
days later, he tricked a woman on Facebook into taking out a 250
payday loan by pretending he ran a mystery shopper scheme.
Hoare was spared an immediate prison sentence by a judge at Canterbury Crown Court after he admitted false representation, theft, criminal damage and harassment
He tricked another man using a similar scheme on May 3 – this time through the classified advertising site Gumtree.
Hoare split with partner Leanne Cooke in September he stole her laptop,
smashed her money jar, slashed her bras and tops in two and sent her
text messages threatening: “I promise I will make headlines with my
Hoare then used her details to stay four nights at Manchester's Chancellors Hotel before turning up at Eastwell Manor.
Handing Hoare a suspended jail sentence, Judge James O’Mahony told him: 'You have behaved as a complete conman.
'You used your quantities of intelligence and ingenuity, using all the modern media and aspects of contemporary life, to rip off other people.
'You clearly have a serious problem with gambling that means you were driven to commit offences.
'If you had only used the intelligence and ingenuity you obviously have, things might have improved.'
He added: 'If you don’t do what you are told, back here you come.'
of no fixed address, admitted five charges of false representation, two
of theft, one of criminal damage and one of harassment.
He was handed a year’s jail – suspended for two years – a year’s supervision order and 150 hours of unpaid work.
Fitzgerald, defending, said: 'It’s quite clear gambling is at the heart
of all his offending. He knows his life will be of little value until
he has conquered that addiction.'