A FORMER gang member booked a "dodgy" luxury holiday to Mexico for £1,600 in a pub, a court heard.

Ronnie Byrom, who was jailed in 2007 for his part in stealing thousands of pounds worth of high-powered cars, cash and valuables, went on the all-inclusive trip to Cancun with his girlfriend last year, Bolton Crown Court was told.

The Bolton News:

The 28-year-old, who trained as a gym instructor and caterer while in prison, had managed to stay out of trouble for three years since his release.

But the court heard that Byrom paid for the holiday knowing it had been illegally obtained — leaving a Newcastle based travel company out of pocket.

Nicholas Flanagan, prosecuting, said the crime took place between February 13 and March 31 last year.

Byrom’s details were on the holiday package and numerous calls had been made about the booking — although it is not known if the defendant made the calls.

The holiday package should have cost £3,500, the court heard.

Byrom, of Smith Lane, Egerton, was jailed for seven years in 2007, after he admitted two burglaries, a robbery and an attempted robbery and three offences of handling stolen goods.

He was part of a gang who targeted homes in affluent areas of Bolton, Blackburn, Haslingden, Bury and Helmshore.

Michael Blakey, defending, said Bryom had been been buying and selling cars since his release and was hoping to become involved in breeding French bulldogs.

Byrom had been due to stand trial for acquiring criminal property but admitted the charge after being told what sentence he was likely to receive if he pleaded guilty.

Judge Timothy Clayson said: “I have to deal with you for a rather unusual offence of obtaining a holiday knowing it was illegally obtained.

“I have to deal with you on the basis that you paid £1,600 and the holiday was worth £3,500.

“You and your girlfriend enjoyed it. It caused considerable distress to the independent travel agent with whom it was booked and a loss was incurred.”

Byron was sentenced to an eight month jail term suspended for 15 months and he was ordered to pay £1,200 compensation.