Man Jailed for Not Paying Restaurant Bill, Claims It Had the Wrong Date on It

May 14, 2019 Updated: May 14, 2019

A man in England was jailed after refusing to pay a restaurant bill.

Paul Rockett, who is reportedly homeless, was sentenced to 34 weeks in jail and was banned from eating at any local restaurant without the means to pay for two years, according to The Sun.

Rockett is accused of not paying a $68.54 (£52.91) bill after spending six hours at a local establishment, Frankie & Benny’s in Cambridge last December, the paper reported. When he wouldn’t pay, the authorities were called.

Rockett ordered crab, penne with meatballs, a peach sundae, and several drinks while in the establishment. The Daily Mail reported that he was there from about 4:40 p.m. to 11 p.m.

When he was brought the bill, he wouldn’t pay, saying the bill had the wrong date on it. However, a photo of the bill appears to show that it was the correct date, the paper noted.

Eventually, staff had to call on-site security personnel to handle the incident.

Later, he told police that he went into the restaurant “to survive” as he was homeless, said police.

“Rockett never had any intention, or means, to pay for his food and knew the consequences of dining in Frankie & Benny’s,” a local police constable, Brad Munday, was quoted by the paper as saying.

“It’s regrettable he’s found himself in this position but, simply put, he broke the law,” he added.

According to the Mail, Rockett said that he was unaware that he had a criminal behavior order despite it being issued during a prior court hearing. And ITV reported that Rockett was also convicted of not complying with a sex offender’s notification requirement.

How Much to Tip?

Everyone should know that the standard tipping fare is 15 to 20 percent of the pre-tax bill at a restaurant, but what about other places?

“Tipping is important. There are so many services where people aren’t even paid minimum wage,” says Debby Mayne, etiquette guide, according to AARP’s website. “The pizza delivery guy is out there braving the elements. There’s a reason why you didn’t go get that pizza yourself.”

According to AARP’s website:

Valet parking personnel

When your car is returned to you, it’s appropriate to tip the valet $2 to $5.

Hairstylist/barber

Stylists and barbers should be tipped a minimum of 15 to 20 percent of the service, and that tip can be split among others who assisted (for example, the shampoo person and colorist). Apply the same value to manicures, pedicures, massages and the like. Think the owner of the salon shouldn’t be tipped? Turns out that’s an old tradition. Owners today appreciate and will accept 15 to 20 percent.

Contractors

If you work with a regular contractor who cuts you a break from time to time, you may be compelled to offer a tip. Most of the time it isn’t necessary to tip an electrician or plumber, Mayne says. “However, if they do anything extra or spend more time than expected, a tip is always appreciated, with the minimum being $20.”

Movers

For a local move (with no broken dishes), Mayne says $20 per mover is fair. If it’s long distance, consider offering more.

Maid

At a hotel, you’re expected to leave a little something for maid service, based on how many days you stayed. But what about at home? Tipping a house cleaner who’s employed not by you but by a cleaning service is optional. If you feel so inclined, 10 to 15 percent is acceptable. At holiday time, or if you’re particularly impressed by a job (the gunk was cleaned from all your liquid soap dispensers), increase it, but by no more than $20.

Recommended