A son who wanted to visit his mother in Bolton drove away from a service station without paying for fuel because he had no money, a court was told.
Daniel Riley’s car had a number plate which had been altered with black tape.
That number was entered into the Police National Computer which revealed the most likely registration the car should have.
The information was relayed to police who saw Riley driving a Fiat Stilo with the right plate on the M61 and stopped him.
Riley, 22, of Windsor Terrace, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to making off without paying for fuel and driving not in accordance with his learner’s licence and without insurance.
He was fined £110 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £69 compensation, a £150 court charge plus £20 victims’ surcharge.
Riley was also disqualified from driving for six months under the penalty points totting-up procedure by District Judge Joanne Hirst sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.
Martine Connah, prosecuting, said Riley drove away from Skippool Services, Mains Lane, without paying for £69 of fuel.
The incident happened on April 25 this year.
His number plate had been altered with black tape.
When arrested Riley made no comment when asked about the car’s number plate.
Patrick Nelligan, fending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, originally came from Bolton where he had been in business putting electronic screens in pubs.
He had made some money and found himself being picked on and taken advantage of, so he moved to Blackpool.
Mr Nelligan added: “At the time of the offence he was feeling down.”