MIRROR Online: LONDON, England – A serial ‘dine and dash’ couple who bailed on bills worth hundreds of pounds in restaurants across south Wales have pleaded guilty.

        Bernard McDonagh, 41, and Ann McDonagh, 39, both from Port Talbot, just east of Swansea, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud when they appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court today. A judge heard how they bailed on bills at several locations across Wales and were charged by police last month.

        Ann McDonagh admitted four counts of theft by shoplifting, WalesOnline reported. These related to obtaining clothing she didn’t pay for at the Tommy Hilfiger shop at Bridgend Designer Outlet to the value of £442 on February 3, 2024, and to the value of £49 on February 17, 2024. She also pleaded guilty to obtaining household items from a Tesco Extra store in Swansea to the value of £426.60 and leaving without paying on September 6, 2023, and obtaining items from Sainsbury’s at Bridgend Designer Outlet to the value of £400 and leaving without paying on February 25, 2024. Ann McDonagh also pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer in the course of their duty at Queen’s Road Police Station in Bridgend in February 2024.

        A photo of Ann McDonaugh

        Ann McDonaugh failed to pay bills at restaurants in Wales ( 

        Image: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

        A photo of Bernard McDonaugh

        Bernard McDonaugh bailed on several restaurant bills ( 

        Image: WALES NEWS SERVICE)

        The court heard the main aggravating factor in the case was the “presence of children” when multiple offences were carried out and that 41-year-old Bernard McDonagh had antecedent history. District Judge Chris James committed the proceedings to Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on May 29. He granted both defendants unconditional bail and requested a pre-sentencing report was made for each of them.

        Viral footage was released after the couple, part of a party of eight, left the Bella Ciao Italian restaurant in Swansea without paying a £329 bill. The family dined on pricey T-bone steaks before they ran out on the bill, according to staff.

        A photo of Ann and Bernard leaving court

        The couple are due to be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on May 29. ( 

        Image: Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror)

        Manager Tyrone Reese previously told The Mirror his wife had an odd feeling when the family started sending back plates with meals left half-eaten. “They were ordering the most expensive things on the menu, like T-bone steaks and the like,” he said. “My wife said ‘Something’s not right.’ They went full-on with their order but they were also sending plates back half empty.”

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        The family were said to have sampled expensive steaks, guzzled down 15 bottles of pop and indulged themselves on double deserts at the restaurant before they skipped out on the bill. A video of the brazen dine and dash went viral online with more than 12 million people seeing it within the space of just a few hours. Within hours of The Mirror’s report other restaurants in Wales shared their complaints of similar dine and dash incidents.

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        A photo of Ann and Bernard

        Couple Ann and Bernard appeared at Swansea Magistrates Court today ( 

        Image: Rowan Griffiths / Daily Mirror)

        La Casona, near Neath, also reported it had fallen victim to dine and dashers. In a social media post, the restaurant claimed that it was left nearly £300 out of pocket.

        The Yard restaurant in Cowbridge also claimed to have fallen victim to dine and dashers. According to the restaurant, a bill of about £150 was left unpaid.

        Owners said: “This was obviously carefully planned as they all just disappeared.” Leaving a restaurant without paying carries a prison sentence of up to two years.