Restaurants fell for spilt wine swindle
Tuesday 11 May 1999
Richard Lorrison, who had read about a similar scam in a newspaper article, sent out hundreds of letters using false names to claim that waiters had spilt wine on his suit.
Southwark Crown Court in London was told yesterday that he pocketed pounds 1,300 from restaurants that paid up before the fiddle was halted.
He admitted five charges of deception and asked for a further 316 similar charges to be considered. He also admitted obtaining two bank loans for pounds 10,000 each in the name of Andrew Smith and to obtaining property by deception - a passport in the same name. Lorrison, 30, of Old Basing, Hampshire, was jailed for 18 months.
The court was told he had abandoned his career with a leading law firm because he felt that his City job would never allow him to settle his spiralling debts.
Judge Mota Singh said that Lorrison had created a series of false identities to carry out the frauds. Restaurants in the City and east London that paid out for cleaning bills included: the Mustard Smithfield Brasserie, the Prospect of Whitby public house, Rudland and Stubbs, the Simpsons Tavern, and Pascal's Restaurant.
Stephen Winberg, for the prosecution, said Lorrison began writing to restaurants in the name of Christopher Brown, claiming that some wine had been spilt on his suit by a waiter, and enclosing a forged copy of a dry-cleaning receipt.
Mr Winberg said restaurants would reply with an apology and cheques for up to pounds 30. In May last year, Lorrison was stopped in a car registered in the name of Brown and complaints by restaurateurs later led back to the defendant.
Max Hill, for the defence, said his client had trained as a solicitor with the "top-10" firm Herbert Smith and with another firm before deciding to leave the profession.
As a trainee, Lorrison had earned up to pounds 25,000, but he abandoned his career and offended - creating a "labyrinth" of false identities.
"The great mystery is why a young man with all the education that can be thrown at him would reject his chosen profession at such a time," Mr Hill said. Lorrison had despaired of clearing his debts.
Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
The new people’s republic of east Ukraine
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...