A MAN has been sentenced to a year in prison for failing to pay a bill of more than €5,438 at a luxury Marbella hotel. He had been staying at the Marbella Club on the Golden Mile for a week in September 2003 and during the stay, used different services which amounted to €5,438, which he left without paying. The hotel made a formal complaint but the trial wasn’t held until this year mainly due to difficulties locating the man. He admitted that he has stayed at the hotel but had refused to pay the bill because he thought it excessive for the services he had received. His lawyer maintained that he attempted to reach an agreement with the hotel, which the manager claims that he had shown no intention of paying, and that until the day of the trial, when he handed in €3,349, he hadn’t received any money from him. The judge considered that the man had intended to commit fraud and he was sentenced to two years in prison and the payment of the bill plus interests. He appealed, and Malaga Provincial Court, although maintaining that he intended to commit fraud, reduced the sentence by one year because he had attempted to repair some of the damage by bringing a large part of the money he owed to the trial to give to the hotel.