Duo went on ‘eat and run’ drunken scoffing spree in town

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Two men have admitted tucking into food and downing drink in a “drunken escapade” and running up a bill of almost £100 at two Ballymena eateries before fleeing without paying.

David Given Surgenor (22) and William Dennis Dunlop (24), whose addresses were both described on court documents as being of no fixed abode, Ballymena, both pleaded guilty to two charges of making off without paying regarding incidents on February 20.

Surgenor also admitted assaulting three police officers and resisting one of them in the execution of his duty.

Both men appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on February 23 via video link from Maghaberry Jail.

A prosecutor said at 6.39pm on the date in question staff at Rack n Roll said males left without paying for food and drink worth £24.20 and then at 8.54pm males also left Rococo without settling a bill for food and drink for £69.55.

Later, after descriptions of the men were circulated, the duo were spotted drinking in the bar of the Adair Arms Hotel and despite attempting to make off on foot they were detained.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said it was a “drunken escapade” and Dunlop said he would pay what he owed.

Dunlop was given a one year conditional discharge and ordered to pay compensation.

Mr McAtamney said Surgenor is an alcoholic and has been getting treatment but when he came out of the Carrick 1 addictions inpatient facility in Antrim he “fell off the wagon” and the incident had escalated and “got out of hand”.

The solicitor said his client hoped to get a place to live with the Simon Community but police objected to bail saying he had over 130 convictions and did not have an address yet.

Surgenor was refused bail and his sentencing was adjourned until March 23 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.