Convicted fraudster blew thousands on accommodation, room service and internet use
A man who used his charm to rack up close to $16,000 in hotel and restaurant bills before running off will now have to dip into his retirement savings to pay the money back.
Javon Laurie Paul Reweti-Evans previously pleaded guilty to three charges of obtaining by deception after he ripped off three New Plymouth hotels and a Hawera restaurant.
The 25-year-old's biggest unpaid bill was left at the luxury Waterfront Hotel, where he stayed for eight weeks between December 2015 and February 2016, despite telling staff he only intended to be there for three days.
During his stay he clocked up a bill of $11,635.95, which included accommodation, room service and internet use.
* Hotel fraudster checked out but failed to settle $15K bill
* Virginia Rose James pleads guilty to $700,000 Powerco theft
* Fraud leaves victims feeling angry and betrayed
* Guest checks out of Auckland hotel leaving $18,000 bill
* Pregnant woman jailed after fraudulent hotel sprees
Despite endless promises to pay the bill, Reweti-Paul slipped out the back door instead.
Prior to this, the defendant also left an unpaid bill of $3936.65 after he checked into the Auto Lodge Hotel in November 2015 and moved onto the nearby Quality Hotel Plymouth International.
The two hotels are owned by the same company.
For about a fortnight, Reweti-Evans moved between the two hotels and stayed in different rooms throughout his stay.
When he planned to check out, the defendant told hotel staff he needed his business partner to sign off on the expenses.
Hotel staff let Reweti-Evans leave under the impression that payment was forthcoming, but this never eventuated.
Ongoing attempts were made by staff to use the credit card Reweti-Evans had provided when he checked in but all the transactions were declined. His cell phone had also been disconnected.
Along with the unpaid hotel stays, Reweti-Evans failed to pay a $280 bill at the Indian Zaika restaurant in Hawera.
During his sentencing on Wednesday, the Hawera District Court was told the defendant planned to get the money to pay back his victims by accessing his Kiwisaver account.
Defence lawyer Alice Vickers said her client had been in negotiations with his Kiwisaver provider since June last year to release the funds but he required a court order for the money to be released.
All up, Reweti-Evans owes $15,852.60.
Along with reparation, Sergeant Lewis Sutton asked Judge Chris Sygrove to include a punitive element, like community work, to the defendant's sentence as a way to deter him from future offending.
Sygrove said at the time of the offending, Reweti-Evans was in financial difficulty.
The defendant had no previous convictions and had tendered letters of apology to the court at an earlier court appearance, the judge said.
Sygrove gave Reweti-Evans credit for his guilty pleas and said he was pleased to know the victims would eventually get their money back.
The defendant was sentenced to nine months' supervision, along with 120 hours of community work.
An order for the full amount of reparation was also made.