Telesia Maiava leaves court after being ordered to pay for a rental van that she kept without paying for two months.
Telesia Maiava leaves court after being ordered to pay for a rental van that she kept without paying for two months. Ross Irby

Mum ordered to pay $4600 for 'missing' people-mover

A MUM who was feeling the squeeze when trying to fit her childreninto the family car found herself a more spacious alternative, but she wasn't keen on paying for it.

An Ipswich court yesterday heard a rented eight-seater Toyota people-mover, owned by JUCY Car Rentals, was not returned for two months past the time that was paid for, leaving the Ipswich mum $4600 in arrears.

At Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday, Telesia Maria Maiava, 31, from North Booval, pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a motor vehicle between April 12 and June 12.

Prosecutor, Sergeant Paul Caldwell, said police were contacted on May 7 by staff at JUCY Car Rentals in Eagle Farm about their missing van.

He said Maiava (pictured) hired the Toyota Estima on April 4 for seven days and later made a payment for an extra day.

Police went to her house on June 13 and located the van in the garage.

"Police lifted the bonnet and the engine was warm," Sgt Caldwell said.

"She said she was driving it. There was a child's car seat in it, and food wrappings throughout.

"She was aware that she was meant to return it.

"She said she did not return it because her partner works away and if she returned it she had no way to get home afterwards."

Sgt Caldwell said Maiava told police she became fearful of returning the van as she knew she could not afford the extra fees.

"She admits driving it as all her children could not fit in her own vehicle," he said.

Police sought $4626.72 restitution.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum ordered Maiava to pay the compensation with no further punishment.