Former Speaker Peter Slipper has been given a two-year good behaviour bond, after being found guilty in July over the misuse of his parliamentary entitlements.
Slipper, 64, is required to perform 300 hours of community service and repay A$954 – the value of Cabcharges that he wrongfully used when he made trips around Canberra wineries, charging the travel to the taxpayer.
The trips, which took place in 2010, pre-dated his time as Speaker.
Sentencing Slipper today, ACT chief magistrate Lorraine Walker said the offences were mid-range ones for crimes of this type. Slipper had shown no remorse, she said, but had been subjected to extra curial punishment through the humiliation he had suffered.
She also took into account his loss of employment and loss of future employment, and his mental health problems – he has suffered from depression.
Slipper could have received a jail sentence of up to one year.
Prosecutor Lionel Robberds, calling for a tough sentence, told the court earlier this week that Slipper’s conduct had been “deliberate, planned dishonesty by an experienced parliamentarian”.
But Slipper’s lawyer Kylie Weston-Scheuber argued there was no need for additional punishment – he had lost his career, marriage and reputation.
Slipper defected from the Coalition to take the Speakership, which helped the Gillard government’s numbers. But he was forced to quit the post after offensive text messages surfaced in the case brought by his staffer James Ashby who claimed sexual harassment. Slipper unsuccessfully contested his Queensland seat of Fisher at the 2013 election.