A MAN who posed as a doctor at Scarborough Hospital in order to get free hotel accommodation has been jailed for 32 weeks.
Matthew Brown, who graduated with a business degree from the University of Hull Scarborough campus, faced two charges of fraud by false representation.
The 34 year old, who is now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to both charges at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He is also being investigated by Devon and Cornwall police in relation to a separate matter, in which he is alleged to have claimed to be an Afghan war veteran and raised £500,000 for Help for Heroes by walking round the coast of Britain.
Katy Varlow, prosecuting, explained that between March 22 and April 15, the defendant had stayed at the Brooklands Hotel in Esplanade Gardens, telling staff he was a doctor working at Scarborough and Bridlington Hospitals and that they would pay the bill.
He left the hotel on April 15 with an unpaid bill of £3,569.50, after concerns were raised by hotel director Gemma Burden.
The second charge relates to a matter between April 1 and 17, when Brown provided a false identity and details to Lloyds TSB bank.
He said he was the owner of the Brooklands Hotel and was sent a bank card, cheque book and paying in book, which were intercepted by staff.
Brown was picked up by police in a hotel in Newquay, where he is alleged to have committed a similar offence, telling staff he was a doctor.
He was arrested after the hotel owner saw his photograph in one of the Sunday newspapers, which ran a story about his alleged fundraising scam.
Mrs Varlow said: “When he was arrested his offences in Scarborough were brought to light.”
She added that he was sent to prison in August 2008 for a similar matter, where he had stayed in a hotel in York and pretended he was a doctor working at York Hospital.
Shaun Greenan, mitigating, explained that the time of his offences in Scarborough, Brown had found himself homeless and was not in receipt of benefits.
He said: “He had split up from his partner and was not in touch with his family.
“He had booked into a hotel hoping to find work, as the alternative for him was sleeping on the streets.”
Mr Greenan added that Brown’s fraud was “not the most sophisticated of deceptions” and his actions were “perhaps indicative of the desperate state in which he’d found himself”.
He also said that the suggestion that he had set himself up as a war hero was very strongly denied.
On delivering sentence, chairman of the bench Angela Fawcett said:
“These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
Brown was given a prison sentence of 16 weeks for each offence to run consecutively.