Cornish hotelier jailed for using guests' pay details


A Cornwall hotelier has been jailed for four years for stealing £200,000 and trying to obtain a further £300,000 through customers' payment details.

Colin Phillips, 48, of Burley Close, Truro, admitted 23 counts of fraud using pay details of guests at the King of Prussia Hotel in Fowey from 2007-09.

Truro Crown Court heard he used them to maintain a luxury lifestyle - including buying a holiday and a £50,000 watch.

Judge Philip Wassall told him it was an "extraordinary catalogue of offending".

Breach of trust

Jo Martin, prosecuting, told the court that after Phillips was bailed he had committed further offences and even had a court date postponed to enable him to go on holiday to Disneyworld, Florida.

In mitigation the defence said he had experienced a nervous breakdown three years ago and that increasing levels of medication had caused him to act radically and irrationally.

However, Judge Wassall said the offences had involved breach of trust, substantial and clever planning and the targeting of wealthy people.

The court heard that Phillips had even deceived his own family who thought he was a successful businessman.

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