Motel bills dodged

A MAN who failed to pay for accommodation at two Bundaberg hotels before causing a scene in McDonald's faced court yesterday.

Paul Connelly, 30, of North Bundaberg, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court to fraud and public nuisance offences.

Police Prosecutor Sergeant Robyn Shapcott told the court Connelly checked into the Kalua Motel for six nights on January 19 and only paid in full for one night and part of another.

He left the motel early on the morning of January 24 and checked into the Bourbong Street Motel a few hours later where he stayed for three nights, giving the reception his bank card and PIN.

Sergeant Shapcott said the defendant told them he was waiting for a Centrelink payment to come in and then they could take the money from the card.

He left the motel the following day and cancelled the card, meaning the bill was not paid.

Police located and arrested Connelly on March 26 and he admitted to leaving the motels without paying.

He then failed to appear for a court hearing on June 4.

On May 15 at 9.50pm, police were called to McDonald's on Takalvan Street where an intoxicated Connelly had been causing a scene after losing his wallet.

Sgt Shapcott said Connelly swore at staff in front of families with young children and searched both the male and female bathrooms, causing distress to a number of women using the facilities.

Defence Lawyer Thomas Bray said his client went to the hotels shortly after splitting with his partner, leaving him itinerant for a time.

“He regrets having a go at the McDonald's staff,” he said. “He acknowledges his actions were inappropriate.”

Magistrate Jennifer Batts fined Connelly $240 for the fail to appear charge, $300 for the public nuisance and $660 for the fraud offences.

She ordered he pay $389 restitution to the Kalua Motel and $182.50 to the Bourbong Street Motel.

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