Lismore woman accused of stealing car to get KFC - at Maitland

A PREGNANT Lismore woman accused of stealing a car from Byron Bay was found later that day by police in a KFC car park seven hours down the Pacific Hwy.

Nicole Freeman, 37, refused to sit in the dock at Maitland Local Court on Friday as she claimed it would injure her unborn child.

During the five-minute mention of her matter, Freeman changed her story several times, The Maitland Mercury reported.

Freeman initially told the court a friend had given her the car, before she changed her mind and said it was a stranger she met in a pub.

"I've been accused of taking something that a friend handed me and said 'take for a drive'," Freeman said.

Police received reports of the driver of a car with no numberplates acting suspiciously in the car park of KFC at Heatherbrae, near Newcastle, on Thursday.

When officers caught up with Freeman in the car park at 6pm, she said the Holden Cruze she had been driving was a company car her employer allowed her to take on holidays with her husband.

Police said Freeman seemed confused and disorientated and the conversation she had with officers was disjointed.

When the newly married Freeman was asked about her husband, she couldn't tell police where he was. At first she said he was at Lismore and then she said he was at a scout hall somewhere.

Freeman was arrested after police checks revealed the car had been stolen from Byron Bay earlier that morning.

Police allege Freeman was abusive to officers who tried to fingerprint her, and couldn't remember her name.

Freeman did not enter a plea to the charge of motor vehicle theft and her matter was adjourned for her to undergo a mental health assessment.


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