A compulsive gambler who stole more than $11,000 from businesses through a receipt scam will spend the next 10 months behind bars.
Craig Pyke, 56, was sentenced to 10 months' jail at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Thursday for his "scheme of dishonesty".
Upon his release in September, the Ballarat man will be placed on a two-year community correction order which will involve judicial monitoring, intensive supervision, offender behaviour programs and addiction reassessment.
He was banned from attending licensed gambling venues.
Pyke had pleaded guilty to 91 charges of obtaining property by deception, which occurred between December 2017 and April 2019.
He repeatedly located discarded receipts, selected items to match the receipts in the store and then asked for refunds for those items.
Refunds were made on 56 occasions from Bunnings stores in Ballarat, Sunshine and Melton, totalling more than $9600.
There were 29 occasions where refunds were made from Kmart totaling $1750 and a total of $534 refunded from Aldi on 10 occasions.
Geelong Bank alerted police to suspect transactions in September 2018 when it was found refunds were being made into Pyke's account with no expenditure to match.
Magistrate Ron Saines said the driving factor behind Pyke's offending was a serious and long-lasting gambling addiction.
He said Thursday's sentence was the eighth time Pyke had been sentenced for similar conduct, which included a prison term in 2016 for 180 charges of obtaining property by deception.
Mr Saines said Pyke had not previously taken steps to help his situation, telling him he was responsible for his gambling choices.
"This was a scheme of dishonesty which you applied in a premeditated and planned manner. You planned it and executed it successfully on 91 occasions," Mr Saines said.
In speaking directly to the magistrate, Pyke said the money he obtained was to live each week.
"I do plan to reform and hopefully I can put my mind to it and achieve my goals," Pyke said.
Mr Saines said Pyke received leniency for pleading guilty early and if he did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for 18 months with a non-parole period.
Pyke has already served 16 days of his sentence.
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