A CONMAN who booked into a Burnley hotel ran up a £500 phone bill in two days, ringing friends and chat-lines, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Nicholas Paul Martin, 31, who was said to be planning a further scam at another hotel, got staff suspicious when they spotted he had a mobile phone with him.

Martin, of no fixed address, was sent to prison for four months, after the bench told him what he had done was premeditated as he had had no intention of paying the bills.

He admitted obtaining property by deception and two counts of obtaining services by deception, between January 3 and 5.

Nigel Harrison, prosecuting, said the defendant got food and drink to the tune of £40.75 after booking into the Rosehill Hotel, Burnley, as well as running up a £500 phone bill.

Martin left the premises after a couple of days when he was challenged by the hotel owner. He was arrested when he booked into the Alexandra Hotel in Burnley, intending to repeat the scam.

Geoff Ireland, defending, said Martin had formed some sort of relationship with a woman through the internet and it was agreed he should come to Burnley.

Things did not work out in Burnley and the woman had not contacted the defendant, although she knew where he was. He hoped to move to Manchester on his release.