Rental car goes missing, woman afraid of giant bill
A MOUNTAIN Creek woman who hired a car without returning it has faced court for unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Maroochydore Magistrates Court heard that Tarryn Lee Wade originally hired the car on October 4 last year for two days. The car was found damaged in Nambour 19 days later.
Sergeant Rick Pallister told the court that Wade rang the hire company several times to extend the hire of the vehicle.
But the hire company could not contact her to arrange its return.
Sgt Pallister said someone claiming to be Wade's sister called the company on October 17 saying she was too scared to return it because of the bill she had run up.
The car was found in Maud St, Nambour, on October 23 with the keys under the mat.
The repair bill for a damaged front door, door lining, wheel nut and handbrake, plus hire costs and expenses, totalled more than $4300.
Sgt Pallister said that when interviewed by police, Wade claimed the car had been stolen by two men in Maroochydore.
When quizzed about why she had not reported it, she said "it would have put her life at risk'' and declined to answer further questions, Sgt Pallister said.
The court heard Wade was driving another hire vehicle when she was stopped by police for a random breath test at Buderim on December 19.
Her licence was found to have been suspended for an accumulation of demerit points.
Magistrate John Hodgins said the story sounded like something from a novel.
"I don't know what to believe but it just seems to be that it's your own fault..." he told Wade. "You need to take stock of your life and your friends."
Wade was fined $500 for car theft and $400 for driving without a licence which Mr Hodgins said would be added to fines she already owed.
He did not record a conviction against the unemployed retail worker.
"I don't want to deter you from getting a job so you can earn some money and pay off this debt," he said.