A former prison worker will return to jail as an inmate after he participated in a scheme to get contraband to prisoners.
Lyndon Turvey was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court to 15 months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven months on charges of bribery and misconduct.
Turvey was working as an Aboriginal welfare officer at Loddon Prison in Castlemaine when he took payments from the family members and partners of four inmates in 2016 and 2017.
The money was used to buy cigarettes, tobacco, papers and lighters, which he would leave in specific locations for others to pick up and take into the prison.
The 52-year-old received 27 payments amounting to $24,530.
Some of these payments were made via deposits into his bank account, others were made through money orders and some he received in cash.
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In one phone call, Turvey told a woman he did not want the money put in his bank account because deposits could be traced.
Two people who gave Turvey money told the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission they did not know Turvey was a Corrections Victoria employee, although one said she was aware of that fact.
The court heard Turvey did not personally benefit from the payments of money.
Turvey pleaded guilty to the offences last month.
He had no prior criminal history.
Magistrate Michael King noted that Turvey was under stress at the time and had experienced a relationship breakdown, although he said that did not excuse the offending.
He accepted Turvey was ashamed and remorseful for what he had done, and the publicity of the case was difficult for him.
Dr King said Turvey's role as an Aboriginal wellbeing officer had been important, his current employer gave the court a positive reference, and he was a support to his family.
But he said deterring others from similar crimes was an important sentencing consideration and Turvey's offending was not a one-off incident.
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He said Turvey's offending constituted a pattern of behaviour over a period of time involving several people, which had undermined the security of the prison.
While the defence counsel submitted Turvey should receive a community corrections order, Dr King said such a sentence would not reflect the need for deterrence.
Dr King noted jail would be more onerous because of Turvey's former job and it would affect his family, but an immediate term of imprisonment was warranted.
If not for his guilty plea, Turvey would have faced 20 months' imprisonment.
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