A HUSBAND and wife targeted a chain of restaurants across South Wales for a spate of "dine and dash" crimes - running off without paying their bills.

Mortgage advisor Paul Brown and wife Rhiannon, of St Fagans, Caerphilly, racked up an average of £91 a time at the Beefeater chain's restaurants before fleeing.

Cardiff magistrates heard the Browns "got their kicks" by sneaking out before paying for their meals and drinks from the chain with 140 restaurants around Britain.

Paul, 50, and Rhiannon, 46, began their spree by hitting three of the restaurants in just four weeks.

Their first dine and dash took place at the Longbow Beefeater in Llantrisant, South Wales, in February.

The Browns moved onto the chain's Walston Castle restaurant in Cardiff two weeks later, and then the Bagle Brook restaurant in Port Talbot just over a week later.

But the Brown's were recognised by staff when they returned to the Walston Castle restaurant three months later and again left without paying.

The Browns - who have three adults children - were identified and arrested by police before each being charged with four counts of making off without payment.

They both pleaded guilty to all of the charges at Cardiff Magistrates' Court, and were sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work.

The couple were also ordered to repay the chain £181.65 each.

They were also ordered to pay costs of £50 and a victim surcharge of £85 each.

A spokesperson for Beefeater said: "We would like to take this opportunity to praise our quick-witted team whose actions helped identify the individuals involved and helped bring them to justice."