Former Batemans Bay cricketer Nathan ‘The King’ Bell has never been one to shy away from publicity.
In fact, he often coveted it.
But now he’s getting publicity for all the wrong reasons, this time facing court on charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Nathan Eric Bell, 35, now of Harrison in the ACT, pleaded guilty to the charge in Nowra Local Court on Monday.
At the time he was also on a two-year-good behaviour bond for a similar charge dating back to December 2016 when he failed to provide an a iPhone he had been paid $800 for.
Court papers said the charge stems from January this year when Bell stayed at the Pleasant Way River Lodge in Nowra for seven days [$810] and enjoyed a meal at the nearby River Thai restaurant [$114], which he also charged back to his motel room.
Papers said Bell also drank four soft drinks, failed to return the key to the motel when he left, which cost $150 to replace and also took a pillow, which he claimed he bled on.
The total bill came to $1116.40.
The court heard Bell had telephoned the business on January 11 this year inquiring about accommodation saying he had work in the area.
When he checked in he was asked if he was using a work credit card to pay but said his boss would be joining him later in the week and would be paying.
He told motel staff he didn't have a company credit card and that “his boss runs everything and he was in Japan.”
They did however sight his driver's’ licence, took down his car registration and a Mastercard that displayed his name.
Bell claimed to be working for Titan Security and was undertaking night work in the area.
Motel staff spoke to Bell a number of times about payment, he said he “didn’t have any money” and that he was to “pick his boss up from the airport” and “he would pay”.
Come January 17 Bell had left the motel without paying.
The business tried to recoup its money from Bell, who insisted he was coming back to pay the bill, on a number of occasions before taking the matter to police.
Police spoke to Bell on February 23, who told officers he had repaid the money but a call to the victim revealed he hadn’t paid any money or even contacted them.
Court papers revealed Bell’s criminal record dated back to 2004 and included previous charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, larceny, stealing property as a clerk, damaging property, assault and intimidation.
The former Eurobodalla sportsman once famously challenged and then promoted a fight against Aussie boxing champion and former international rugby league player John Hopoate, which never came off.
He will return to court on September 3.