CRIME
10/30/2012 02:41 pm ET

Jason Chidgey, Landlord, Hid Friend's Dead Body In Bar To Avoid Missing Weekend Business

Times are tough, especially for the Boot Hotel landlord Jason Chidgey of Aberdare, South Wales.

Last January, 29-year-old Chidgey had a late night drinking at the inn's bar with friend Mark Howells, 48,. Upon waking, Chidgey discovered Howells in the women's restroom, dead from alcohol poisoning.

But instead of calling police or alerting Howells' family of the tragedy, Chidgey hid the body in a first-floor bedroom. Later, after the pub's bouncer declined to help carry Howells up the stairs, Chidgey reportedly had Audra Rees, the cleaner, help him hide the body.

Chidgey was concerned about losing weekend patrons if police came to investigate the death. After hiding the body, he opened the pub on Saturday for business as usual, intending to have the body "found" that Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail.

According to court officials, Chidgey's efforts to conceal Howells' death and keep the pub open went beyond hiding his remains.

"He deflected friends' concerns about Mr. Howells not being seen by saying he had spoken with him recently and that he was okay," said Prosecutor Owen Williams.

Chidgey kept the whereabouts of the body secret for four days, but the Telegraph reports that, on the day of his funeral, it was Rees who finally went to police, complaining that the incident gave her nightmares.

Judge Richard Twomlow, who proceeded over Chidgey's court hearing, said he showed no respect for Howells.

"Your response to the probation officer is one that shows not a shred of real remorse," said Twomlow. "All you seem to have been concerned about is making things less serious for yourself."

Chidgey pleaded guilty to perversion of the court of justice. He is sentenced to 15 months in prison.

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