A conman who travelled up and down the UK ripping off guesthouses was tracked down after he left DNA behind on clothing.

Guesthouse owners in Llandudno, Amlwch, Barmouth and Tywyn were among those who fell victim to Alexander Carne Hewitt.

The 56-year-old loner had a novel way of sorting out his accommodation problems – by staying at small hotels or B&Bs, then moving on without paying.

Described as distinguished looking, and with a beard, Hewitt has also taken in business owners in the Lake District and Cornwall – and is now wanted in Scotland.

Hewitt, of no fixed abode, was jailed for six months at Flintshire magistrates’ court in Mold, after he admitted six charges, four of making off without paying for accommodation in North Wales –and two of stealing hotel keys.

Hewitt admitted that between August and October of last year he left without paying at Monfa, Pier Road, Tywyn; The King’s Head Hotel at Salem Street, Amlwch; The Bron Orme Hotel in Church Walks, Llandudno, and the Bryn Teg Hotel at Barmouth.

To avoid suspicion he would keep the key and say he was coming back, or he would leave an item of clothing behind.

Prosecutor Susan Duncombe said that was how he was traced – police got a DNA hit off his clothing.

He was “gate arrested” last week when he was released from a prison sentence imposed at Lancaster for exactly the same thing.

It was clear that he did not have any money to pay when he booked himself in and he then moved on without paying.

“That is how he lives. That is what he does professionally,” she said.

Bench chairman Alastair Williams said he had not seen such a consistent list of previous convictions.

“You have travelled the length and breadth of the country staying in hotels and making off without payment,” he said.

Defending solicitor Gary Harvey said that his client intended to put a stop to it. He was getting older and he found prison tougher.

“It is ruining his life,” Mr Harvey explained.

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