A former chef who dines at expensive restaurants and then pleads poverty has been convicted for the 54th time of refusing to pay for a meal.

Paul Charles Dozsa, 48, dubbed "the restaurant runner" by local newspapers, was fined $160 on Monday for refusing to pay a $50 bill at a Chinese restaurant.The following day, he dined out at the five-star Sheraton-Wentworth hotel, then told the staff he could not pay the $48 check. He was fined $200 for that offense on Wednesday and ordered to compensate the restaurant.

Dozsa pleaded guilty to the charges, saying he was "in a state of inebriation."