A MODERN-DAY 'Bonnie and Clyde' left a restaurant owner fuming after they racked up an £100 bill for booze and food - and then fled without paying.

CCTV cameras caught the young couple as they fled My Big Fat Greek Taverna eatery.

They indulged in an array of fancy cocktails, as well as some of the menu's more expensive items, such as the T-bone steak.

But when the time came to foot their £100 bill, the couple started acting "shady" - continuously walking out of the Greek restaurant and then back in, on the pretence of having a smoke.

And when general manager Vicky Hart approached them to politely ask for payment, the bold couple legged it away from the restaurant - leaving Vicky chasing after them.

Unfortunately the couple - who look to be not much older than their teens - got away, leaving the restaurant significantly out of pocket.

Jason Smedley, 50, who owns My Big Fat Greek Eatery, as well as the Royal Hotel complex in which the restaurant is situated, said he was left "fuming" when he heard of the getaway.

Jason, who took over ownership of the Royal Hotel complex a year ago, said: "It is very annoying.

"Everyone is struggling at the moment - but it's unfortunate the couple felt they had to do this, especially after we had put on the Eat Out To Help Out scheme last month to try and ease things a bit.

"I think they were probably out-of-towners who tried their luck knowing they wouldn't get caught.

"Our general manager Vicky tried to chase after them, and they were yelling all sorts at her, telling her to 'eff off'.

"It's not what you'd expect from a sunny Wednesday evening in Clacton."

Jason added that the couple had allegedly been spotted in the Wetherspoons pub next door, before popping in to My Big Fat Greek Taverna to enjoy their meal.

And he said: "It is very frustrating, because when the hotel was forced to close due to coronavirus, we used it for three months to house NHS staff and ambulance workers.

"That was at a massive cost to us - so we're trying to re-coup some of that money at the moment."

And the restaurant's general manager, Vicky Hart, who gave chase when the couple bolted, added: "They had eight cocktails between them and two T-bone steaks, totalling £100.

"But then they ran off straight after eating.

"It is so frustrating given the circumstances because we and so many other restaurants have worked so hard to get the business back up and running since coronavirus.

"So, to then have people go against all our hard work is sad.

"But we now have new business measures in place to ensure this does not happen again."

Meanwhile, Paul Honeywood, Pier ward councillor, blasted the couple for not thinking about the challenging circumstances facing the hospitality sector.

"I was disappointed to hear about the behaviour of a couple who recently left My Big Fat Greek Taverna without paying," he said.

"Many of our local businesses are facing difficult times at the moment, through no fault of their own.

"This kind of behaviour does not nothing to help any of those businesses or our great town. I sincerely hope that the wrongdoers are caught."

Jason said he has reported the incident to police - but as far as he is aware, they have not followed it up.

* Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were a pair of US criminals who robbed banks and small stores with their gang during the Great Depression of the 1930s.