No justice after B&B guest 'did a runner'
By David Wibberley - Reporter
FRUSTRATION with the criminal justice system has led a Barnard Castle guesthouse owner to hold out an olive branch to a guest who fled without paying.
The unknown male left Homelands Guest House, in Galgate, in February without paying and leaving empty
fish and chip boxes in his wake.
Dr Glenda Furia, the owner of Homelands, said: “The man had originally booked to stay for four nights but left after two without paying and owing £180.”
Dr Furia said that she had the person’s mobile phone number, adding: “I have attempted to make contact with the man concerned but felt threatened by some of his comments, particularly when he said he might see me again some day.”
She added: “He also asked me if I was from a B&B in Doncaster, which suggests he is committing similar crimes in other areas.”
Police have confirmed that the mobile phone provided by Dr Furia had been rung by a PC and that a male had answered but refused to provide his details.
The person agreed to attend Homelands Guest House on March 1 and pay his bill but he failed to do so.
This investigating officer contacted The Central Authorities Bureau with aim to tracing the culprit.
However, an application under the The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) was deemed not to meet the “serious crime criteria”. Dr Furia says she is frustrated with how Durham Constabulary investigated the crime and at this point she submitted a formal complaint.
In an email response to Dr Furia, Durham Police said: “Unfortunately, the RIPA application was denied because it did not meet the serious crimes criteria under these regulations.”
The email goes on to say: “I understand the investigating officer has spoken to you at length as to why his hands are tied to progress.”
Dr Furia’s response has been to offer an olive branch to the perpetrator.
She said: “He is a young man and he has made a mistake – we all make mistakes. This shouldn’t hang over him for the rest of his life.
“If he were to either give the money to charity or to come to the guesthouse and apologise to me then I am prepared to wipe the slate clean.”