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Party guest thought he had been left with bill

A GUEST at a 21st birthday party in a Dublin restaurant was arrested after the other diners fled and left him with a bill for more than €500.

Sean McCarthy (18) panicked and left the scene after being "isolated" by the other revellers.

However, he was caught on the street outside by gardai – the only one of a party of 15 to be arrested.

McCarthy, who said he had nothing but a burger and chips, was left without a criminal record after he paid €100 to the restaurant.

The accused, with an address at Doon Court, Ballymun pleaded guilty to obtaining a service by deception at Thunder Road restaurant, Fleet Street, Temple Bar on January 9.

Garda Christopher Fitzgerald told Dublin District Court the accused was one of 15 people at a 21st birthday party.



The restaurant had been booked for 8pm, people turned up a half-hour later and had a meal and drinks totalling €546.

Towards the end of the meal, people started to leave the premises and eventually all left except for two older woman, who stayed to pay their bill.

"It wasn't a planned, joint enterprise," McCarthy's solicitor said. "When other people started to leave, he thought he was going to be left with the bill and he fled."

The court heard McCarthy insisted that what he consumed represented a small amount of the bill – "a burger and chips", his solicitor said.

Gda Fitzgerald said the woman who made the booking paid for what she ate and none of the other people who left had been apprehended.

"To be fair to him, he's been left on his own," Gda Fitzgerald said. "No one came forward."