WHEN a hotel guest absconded without paying his bill after leaving a false name, he might have thought he had a perfect plan for a free stay.
But the would-be criminal mastermind had failed to observe that crucial rule for all travellers – don’t forget your toothbrush. The error made it easy for police to trace his identity through DNA.
Trainee plasterer Stephen Evans, 29, checked into a £32 ($51)-a-night guesthouse in the Welsh seaside resort of Llandudno – his home town – in June under a false name and address, ‘Paul Jones of Chester’.
Evans had told the receptionist that he would be staying for three nights. But after two days he left without having paid.
Officers who were called in to investigate noticed the toothbrush he had left behind in his room. After having it forensically tested, they discovered a DNA match on the police database, magistrates in Llandudno heard.
Julie Hughes, prosecuting, said Evans claimed he needed a place to stay because he had been thrown out of the family home.
"He was arrested and said he was homeless at the time because his mother had kicked him out," she told magistrates. "Scenes-of-crime officers seized a toothbrush and it came back with the defendant’s DNA."
Evans admitted making off without payment. He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of theft after he stole a mobile phone, worth £500 ($795), from a bar in nearby Prestatyn.
He was ordered to pay $102 compensation to the guesthouse owner and $95 costs. He was also given a curfew under which he is forbidden from going out between 8pm and 8am for four months.