South West Wales

Couple stole contents of room in Morgans Hotel, Swansea

Laura and Christopher Barnett
Image caption Laura and Christopher Barnett both admitted theft

A newly-wed couple looted their hotel room in Swansea, even taking the paintings and the flat screen TV.

Laura, 25, and Christopher Barnett, 38, from Port Talbot, also stole slippers, dressing gowns, sheets, pillows and the contents of their minibar.

They were on a break at the luxury Morgans Hotel six months after they wed, Swansea magistrates heard

Barnett was jailed and his wife received a community order after admitting theft.

Magistrates were told the couple had checked into the city centre Grade-II-listed hotel for a romantic break to celebrate Barnett's birthday two weeks ago.

Prosecutor Sharon Anderson said: "The couple checked in before going on a night out in Swansea city centre.

Waiting by window

"They returned at 6.40am after drinking heavily. At 9am CCTV recorded Laura Barnett leaving the hotel carrying a large bag.

"That bag contained linen, dressing gowns, the contents of the minibar, a telephone and even pictures from the walls of the room.

"She took that bag to her car and was then recorded standing outside the hotel, waiting by the window of the room.

"The curtains were seen to move before the room's television was passed by her husband through the window."

Staff were alerted when Christopher Barnett went to the hotel's reception and complained about items on his bill about pay-per-view TV.

The court heard he claimed the room did not have a television and so he would not pay.

Image caption When the hotel room was checked it was found most of the contents had been removed

Mrs Anderson added: "Staff became suspicious and the porter checked the room and found most of the contents had been removed."

Police were called immediately and the pair were arrested in the reception.

Mike Spring, defending Laura Barnett, said she had been pressured into committing the crime by her husband.

But Mr Spring conceded that the incident was "bizarre".

He said Laura Barnett had lied to police in interview, where she said she had acted alone, because her husband was already subject to a suspended sentence.

The couple, who appeared in court on separate days this week, eventually admitted taking part in the theft.

Christopher Barnett was jailed for 16 weeks. His wife received a community order of 12 months and must compete 80 hours of unpaid work.