A RIVER Heads man has lost his licence for one month and fined $50 for driving off without paying for $20 of fuel he had just put in his tank.

The theft incensed Acting Magistrate Gary Finger, who condemned the man’s actions in his sentencing remarks.

“Stealing fuel is all too prevalent in today’s society,” Mr Finger said.

“If people want to steal fuel they have to pay the consequences.”

Neil Geoffrey Curtis pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court last week to stealing the $20 of fuel while visiting the Sunshine Coast.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Donna Sperling said about 6pm on May 29, Curtis filled his car at a petrol station on Narangba Rd, Kallangur.

Snr Const Sperling said Curtis then went inside and told the clerk he had no money.

Instead, he offered to pay by using a credit card number.

The court was told the clerk refused this request and Curtis left the service station leaving no forwarding address or details.

Defence solicitor Justin Geldard said Curtis believed his girlfriend had gone to the service station and paid for the fuel.

“It was the sum of $20 which doesn’t excuse that offending but it is at the lower end,” Mr Geldard said.

“He believed an immediate attempt to make good was made.”

Extracted in full from:  frasercoastchronicle.com.au