ROMANTIC hopes led an optimistic Gladstone woman to drive to Mackay to meet a lad she met online.
Sadly her dreams of romance were quickly dashed when their meeting flopped so after living in her car for a few days she booked a motel at Emu Park near Rockhampton.
The 30-year-old woman spent a couple of nights alone in her motel room but with no money left to pay she fled, leaving an unpaid bill of $490.
The Gladstone Magistrates Court was told she also did a drive-off from a Mackay service station after refuelling.
The woman pleaded guilty to committing fraud at the motel between October 24 and 28 last year; and stealing fuel at Mackay on October 10.
Prosecutor snr const Sam Pyke said the woman drove into a service station at Ooralea, walked into the station and took a jerry can.
After filling the can and her car with $80 worth of fuel she drove off.
Snr const Pyke said she told police later she had been desperate at the time.
The jerry can was worth $30.
Snr const Pyke said the woman had told the motel reception staff her boyfriend would pay when he arrived.
Instead she left without paying and when phoned by the motel staff she told them she simply forgot and would transfer the money.
However, she was then phoned multiple times but would hang up.
Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said the woman instructs that she had met someone online dating and decided to travel and meet.
"Unfortunately it didn't work and she had no money," he said.
Mr Pepito said she was living in her car for a while when she made the decision to book the motel room although had no money to pay.
Magistrate Mark Morrow took into account that she had very little money and ordered her to complete 12 months supervised Probation.
He ordered her to pay full restitution to the motel and service station.