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AS HE stood beside his car filling it up with expensive fuel, Jesse James Banks was in the middle of committing three serious crimes.

The 21-year-old Wagga man had driven a black Holden Calais into the Caltex service station in defiance of multiple driving disqualifications supposed to keep him off the road until February, 2023.

On the car were Queensland number plates that belonged to a Subaru station wagon owned by Banks.

After putting $108.02 worth of 98 octane fuel in the Calais, Banks drove off without making any attempt to pay.

His downfall began 18 days later when police came across the Subaru being towed by another person.

The car’s number plates – now back on the correct vehicle – came up on the police computer system as being associated with the fuel theft.

Police learned the car had been sold twice in less than a month and traced its ownership at the time of the theft back to Banks.

Surveillance camera footage obtained by police from the service station showed a man that appeared to be Banks putting petrol in the car, but when he was interviewed by police on January 10 after returning from working in a mine he denied the man in the video was him.

He nominated another man as the driver, but when police talked to that person he had “little resemblance” to the man in the video.

Police charged Banks with driving with disqualified, obtaining property by deception and using a motor vehicle with an illegal number plate.

Banks, who has been given jail sentences in the past for driving while disqualified, pleaded guilty. In Wagga Local Court this week he was given nine months’ home detention for the driving and dishonesty offences and fined $200 for the fake plates.

Magistrate Erin Kennedy added another two years to Banks’s driving ban and warned him to stay off the road.

“You will likely be driving yourself to prison,” Ms Kennedy said.

“There are a lot of people in Junee (Correctional Centre) because they got in a car and drove it.”

Extracted in full from:  dailyadvertiser.com.au

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