ONE of Oxford's most notorious and prolific conmen has appeared in the dock once again after committing fresh crimes.

Eric Austin, dubbed the 'dine and dash conman' has a long history of offences and has wreaked havoc at bars and restaurants across the city for years.

The 50-year-old of Alice Smith Square, Oxford, has targeted restaurants and racked up hefty bills for food and wine before fleeing without paying.

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As a result of his crimes he is currently banned from setting foot in any city eatery where food can be eaten before it is paid for.

Oxford Mail:

Most recently he was jailed for 16 weeks in November after he racked up a bill of nearly £100 at a Headington gastropub.

In 2018 he was jailed for six months because of his 'flagrant disregard for court orders' as well as a 'flagrant disregard for people and their property' after striking The Alchemist at the Westgate Centre.

Oxford Mail:

Austin appeared again at Oxford Magistrates' Court last Monday, May 11, facing two further charges.

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He pleaded guilty at that hearing to one count of using 'threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress' and one count of causing criminal damage.

Both offences took place on May 9, in Abingdon.

Austin committed the public order offence at the shopping centre precinct at Bury Street.

Oxford Mail:

Then, when he was taken to Abingdon Police Station on Colwell Drive, he damaged the door to cell A9.

For those two offences he was ordered to pay compensation totalling £100, with no other separate penalty imposed.

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When Austin was banned from Oxford restaurants in 2015 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, his solicitor Julian Richards said his client suffered from schizophrenia and depression.

Mr Richards said Austin had previously wanted to be sent back to prison because he had run out of money.