Couple who ran from pub without paying for £56 meal accuse critics of 'homophobic and body-shaming witch hunt'

9 August 2023, 09:26

The women were publicly shamed after they left a pub without paying
The women were publicly shamed after they left a pub without paying. Picture: Facebook/Google Maps

By Will Taylor

Two women who were accused of doing a runner from a pub after ordering £56 worth of food have said they needed to leave for a "personal emergency" and accused critics of homophobia.

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The furious landlady of the Smithy Arms, in North Yorkshire, posted CCTV of Ruby McGrath, 32, and Suzy Hopley, 33, and said they had left without paying.

Lisa McMaster claimed the couple, who were with their children, insisted they would pay at the bar after eating their food but they left and were seen running through the car park.

They left in a distinctive white car with a pink roof as McMaster, who runs the pub in Swinton, gave them an deadline to pay her back on Facebook.

"How nice of you to come for a meal and drinks and run without paying. Staying on a campsite near," she fumed.

Read more: Moment family ‘did runner’ from pub after costly three course meal, as they lied saying they’d return to pay after smoke

The pub owner was furious their customers left without paying
The pub owner was furious their customers left without paying. Picture: Social media
The women left the Smithy Arms without paying
The women left the Smithy Arms without paying. Picture: Social media

Social media users were furious, demanding the married couple pay back the business, especially during tough financial times.

But the pair, who run a fashion brand called FrankandOlive, has hit back, accusing their critics of mounting a "homophobic and body-shaming witch hunt".

McGrath said on Instagram: "Usually I'd ignore ridiculous online hate, but this also involves my children so I'm just popping on to say that last night we had a delicious meal and experienced brilliant service at The Smithy Arms in Swinton, but sadly our visit was cut short and we had to dash - poor Frank didn't even get to have his ice cream - due to a personal emergency.

Read more: Family accused of running out on £215 pub bill return and 'overpay as a gesture of goodwill'

The landlady of the Smithy Arms was furious
The landlady of the Smithy Arms was furious. Picture: Google Maps

"Our plan was to call the pub asap to let them know the situation and then hurry back to sort the bill.

"As we were camping, we realised once we got back that we had zero b***** reception and had to wait until this morning to contact the pub and clear the bill!

"Anyway, long story short, all is well, the bill and generous tip have been paid. There are no hard feelings between myself and the lovely people at The Smithy Arms, yet the internet has gone nuts.

"A misunderstanding that got enormously blown out of proportion, followed by a homophobic and body-shaming witch hunt. Beware the power of social media."

She said the personal emergency had been a "medical issue in our group and it became urgent that we left".

Restaurant runners are very frequent - the most recent figures from the Home Office for dine and dash incidents show 12,610 incidents took place in 2018.