Billy Hetherington, his brother Rhys Hetherington, and their acquaintance Charlie Wellings were all fined at Telford Magistrates Court after they admitted making off from Zizzi’s in Shrewsbury’s town centre without paying on May 27 last year.
At the hearing on Wednesday prosecutor Katie Price read a statement from one of the restaurant’s management staff, which said that at about 5pm on the day in question, three men entered the restaurant.
The statement said: “Something didn’t seem quite right with them. They were cocky and messy in their appearance. One had a sleeping bag.”
The three men ate for over an hour and a half but when the bill was sent to their table they ran out of the restaurant, over the road and down an alleyway.
Representing all three men in court, Clare Stephens said that they were homeless and destitute at the time of the offence.
She said: “While it goes against morality to do what they did, they had no food, they had nowhere to sleep and as you have heard, they had a sleeping bag.
“These are three young gentlemen who since the commission of that offence, they have tried to turn their lives around.”
She said the Hetherington brothers had both started work in warehouses and that Billy had moved to Kidderminster to get away from Shropshire.
She said that Wellings had moved back to his family home in Yorkshire.
The three men joked with a man in the public gallery while they waited to be sentenced, and laughed throughout the hearing.
Chairman of the bench Nigel Atkinson told the three before handing out their fines: “The way you have behaved in court is a disgrace. You have made things worse for yourselves by acting as thoroughly immature men.”
Billy Hetherington, 21 and of Franchise Street in Kidderminster, was fined £107. Rhys Hetherington, 22 and of Woodwynd Close in Shrewsbury, was fined £184 and Wellings, 20 and of Bingham Place in Lofthouse, Yorkshire, was fined £80.
Each of them were also told to pay £30 in surcharges, £185 towards the prosecution costs and £38 to compensate for their meals.