A MAN who appeared in in Orange Local Court on Monday was fined $400 and ordered to pay $86 for petrol he stole in October.

Keith Michael Gaffney pleaded guilty to having goods in his custody that were suspected of being stolen and dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

The 21-year-old from Belubula Street, Carcoar was represented by legal aid solicitor Gerry Stapleton.

He had been captured on surveillance footage filling up a car with 56.86 litres of petrol and driving off at the Woolworths petrol station in Orange while having the wrong number plates on the car.

“He came to police attention because the number plates were from a friend of the family, there was nothing to indicate he was responsible for the removal of number plates from her car,” Mr Stapleton said.

Police said Gaffney demonstrated a high degree of remorse for his actions by attending a police station before any inquiries were made.

The police said Gaffney was drinking at a property in Hill Street where between midnight and 9.40pm on October 12 number plates were taken from a silver Kia Rio sedan.

About 9.40pm that evening he drove a green Ford Fairlane into the Woolworths petrol station in Orange with the stolen plates displayed on the front of the car, filled up and left without paying.

He then drove to Parkes and before arriving had replaced the number plates with the correct plates for his vehicle.

However, at 6pm on October 13 he contacted Orange police station and said he was the person responsible for failing to pay for petrol.

Police said his mobile went flat during the call but about 6.30pm he handed himself in at Parkes police station.

However, he told police he had been extremely intoxicated the previous night and had no knowledge of whether he stole the number plates or not.

As part of the sentence magistrate Terry Lucas ordered Gaffney to have his fingerprints and photographic identification recorded by police.

Extracted from Central Western Daily.