Overweight conman Christopher Hoare caught at Ashford's Eastwell Manor hotel posing as professional rugby player
Conman Christopher Hoare
was caught at Eastwell Manor hotel
by Dan Bloom
Staff at a luxury Kent hotel caught an overweight wanted conman
- when he posed as a professional rugby player.
Serial fraudster Christopher Hoare, 30, cheated people across
Britain before turning up at Eastwell Manor under a fake name
A court heard he racked up a £2,400 bill over his six-night stay
at the four-star Ashford hotel, which charges up to £445 a
He gave a fraudulent credit card number and claimed a fictional
body called Sports England Training was picking up the tab.
"(He) appeared, putting it neutrally, not to have the physique and healthy appearance that one might associate with a professional rugby player..." – Tom Dunn, prosecuting
But Hoare, of no fixed address, was exposed when he boasted to
the hotel owner how he was a rugby player on transfer from Cardiff
Blues to London Wasps.
Tom Dunn, prosecuting, said: "By then 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."
The manager called Visa, who told him Hoare had used a Natwest
card. When he called Natwest, they told him to ring the police.
Hoare was arrested and admitted five charges of false
representation, two of theft, one of criminal damage and one of
It emerged Hoare, a gambling addict, was on the run after
conning a string of innocent people.
John 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."
Despite his string of offences, Hoare was spared jail at
Canterbury Crown Court.
Instead he was handed a year's jail - suspended for two
years - a year's supervision order and 150 hours of unpaid
Judge James O'Mahony told him: "You have behaved as a complete
"You used your quantities of intelligence and ingenuity, using
all the modern media and aspects of contemporary life, to rip off
"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
He added: "If you don't do what you are told, back here you
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