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Eight broke buddies charged after blowing Sh4.4m in bill at posh city hotel

It was going to be a fun filled and celebration moment for a group of eight friends. But Caroline Muthoni, Marylyne Chege, Victor Oduor, Natasha Wanjiru, Jackline Wanjiru, Alvin Onyango, Julius Mwangi and Grace Wanjiru ended up as guests in one of Nairobi’s police stations.

Ms Muthoni had invited her seven friends to join her in celebrating an international award she had won, she claimed, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).

Her buddies were to join her at the Clarence House Hotel in Westlands from May 22.

All the eight checked-in to the hotel hours later where they wined and dined like royalty. The intended night out ended up into a week-out.

POINT FINGERS

When the management knocked on their hotel room doors eight days later to demand Sh 4.4 million in bills, the eight friends pointed fingers at their host Ms Muthoni, who in turn declared that she couldn’t clear the bill.

The hotel management called police who put the eight into custody on May 31.

The eight were on Tuesday arraigned before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.

The court was told that the eight jointly intended to defraud the said hotel Sh4, 449, 290.

“With intend to defraud Clarence House Hotel, accused persons caused to be issued with services worth the said monies by falsely pretending they were in a position to pay, a fact they knew to be false,” prosecution told court.

The eight presented a letter to court explaining how they intend to settle the debt.

All the women in the group, except Ms Muthoni, agreed pay to Sh 100,000 each in order to have the case against them withdrawn, a deal the court allowed to be executed.

“The said four accused persons have given the representative of the complainant and the full amount of Sh 100,000 each,” their lawyers said.

DEPOSIT CAR

Mr Onyango and Mr Omondi placed their car, a Toyota Mark X, as security to the hotel management. They said the are unable to raise Sh 100,000 or the final settlement.

With the agreement adopted by the court, Ms Muthoni and Mr Mwangi had no choice but to plead to the charge of obtaining credit by false pretense of services amounting to Sh3,849,290, an offense they both denied.

While the court ordered Ms Muthoni to pay Sh500,000 as cash bail to secure her freedom, she might end up with the burden of facing the case all alone.

This is because the court ordered Mr Mwangi to only give an undertaking of paying Sh 100,000 just like the rest before the next mention of the case in two weeks’ time so as to be set free.

He offered to pay the first half of that amount in cash as well as his motorbike as security until he settles the remaining amount of Sh 50, 000.