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Man sentenced to jail time for trashing Belfast hotel room

Laganside Court in Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

A MAN who trashed a Belfast hotel room and fled without paying a £180 bar bill has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Stephen McCleland, 27, was handed a four month term for inflicting damage to fixtures and fittings at Madison's, and a further two months for stealing £210 worth of food and alcohol from a supermarket a day earlier.

However, he was released on bail pending an appeal against the prison sentence imposed.

McCleland, of College Court Central in the city, booked into Madison's on Botanic Avenue for a night's stay on June 2.

He was said to have run up a bill on drinks, snacks and ordering room service while there with another unidentified man.

Later that night staff at the hotel were alerted to smashing and banging noises coming from one of the rooms, the court heard.

Prosecutors said a night porter who went to investigate was confronted by two men exiting.

When he told them police had been called one of the pair lifted a fire extinguisher, causing the porter to fear he was about to be hit.

Although the men ran from the hotel McCleland was detained at a nearby location.

Damage had been caused to a safe, mirror, crockery, lamp and telephone.

The cost of repairs was not disclosed, but Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy was informed the room had to remain shut for the following weekend.

With Madison's said to be fully booked at the time, the closure caused a further loss in trade, the prosecution lawyer added.

It was revealed in Belfast Magistrates Court that McClelland has since secured a job as a barman at another hotel.

He pleaded guilty to criminal damage, common assault and making off without payment.

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