An Australian man has been caught red-handed after spending the night with a sex worker and lying to his partner.
Paul Iera, from Wollongong in New South Wales, has narrowly avoided jail after the 36-year-old concocted a story that he had been kidnapped in the hope that his girlfriend wouldn't find out about his cheating.
In a text to his other half sent on New Year's Eve after telling his Mrs he was going to see his 'financial guy', Iera had claimed that he'd been taken by 'Middle Eastern men' and was being held hostage over a $7,000 dirt bike.
The concerning massage read: "[Iera's partner's name] it's '[name]' thank you for sending Paul to me, now payback is a b**** bye bye.
"But I'm going to be fare [sic] OK, we will keep him with us until the morning wen [sic] he gives us his bike we call it square, no one's touching him my word I'll give you hun OK."
But Iera's plan backfired as his girlfriend then contacted the police for help - like any concerned partner would do.
Police launched an immediate response to the incident and conducted a 'high-risk vehicle stop'.
It was around 10.30am the day after his text that police discovered Iera in his own van.
The 36-year-old originally told police he'd been kidnapped, but this story began to look unlikely when officials obtained CCTV footage of Iera with a sex worker from his night of fun on New Year's Eve a few days later.
It's said that the police spend a staggering 200 hours investigating the hoax - and now Iera has since been slapped with a huge fine.
As a result of wasting so much police time, Iera has to pay over AU $16,000 (£8,400).
Iera attended Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday, 26 September, where he received the fine and 350 hours of community service.
The judge labelled the labourer's behaviour as 'abhorrent'.
Magistrate Michael Ong said, as per the Illawara Star: "You chose to send alarming, frightening messages to your partner so you could get some extra time with another partner.
“You thought that would be a great way to do it. Any reasonable person would have gone to the police and that is exactly what happened.”
While some were left 'questioning why [he] shouldn't be sent to prison', Iera's positive sentencing assessment report and lack of criminal record prior to the event worked in his favour, meaning he avoided jail time.
He was also sentenced to a concurrent 18-month Community Correction Order (CCO) for unrelated charges regarding possessing an unauthorised firearm, possessing a prohibited weapon without a permit and possessing ammunition without a licence, the local publication reported.
Iera was fined an additional AU $550 (£280) for the firearm offences.
If you needed a reason not to cheat on your partner - this is it.