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Student's pounds 700 hotel swindle.

A STUDENT ran up hundreds of pounds of hotel bills - then sneaked out by fire escapes to avoid paying.

Former journalism student Martin Talasek, 25, tucked into evening meals and fried breakfasts before disappearing when it came time to settle up.

He was caught after a member of staff at the New County Hotel in Perth spotted him clambering down a fire escape with a rucksack on his back in March .

Talasek, of Poplar Lane, Edinburgh, said he was on his way to a bank to get cash. Staff made him leave his rucksack as security - but he never returned.

He was reported to the police and it was discovered the Czech student had pulled the same stunt at several hotels. Keys to many of the rooms were found in his bag.

He had spent the first two weeks in March touring Perthshire, racking up hotel bills of nearly pounds 700.

Talasek spent a night in the Victoria Hotel, Blairgowrie, on March 2, then three nights at the town's Ivybank Guest House, two at the Quality Hotel in Perth, five at the Queens Hotel and three at the New County Hotel.

Hannah Kennedy, prosecuting, yesterday told Perth Sheriff Court: "The value of services the accused obtained between 2 and 17 March was pounds 672."

Gwen Wood, defending, said Talasek had debts of pounds 7000, which he was trying to pay off.

He was fined pounds 400 and ordered to pay pounds 672.91 to the hotels

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 28, 2005
Words:251
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