A man residing at the Terang Hotel stole staff wages and charity funds for drought-stricken farmers, a court heard.
Joseph Clarke, 46, previously of Terang and now of Apollo Bay, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday to theft, failing to appear in court and breaching a community corrections order.
Magistrate Michael Coghlan said pinching money from struggling farmers was "pretty nasty".
"Local people were contributing their money to assist people in dire financial difficulties because of drought, fires and heavens knows what else," he said.
"That is not particularly nice."
Clarke told the court the money was not marked and that he had no idea it was for the farmers.
He was convicted and fined $1250.
The magistrate also cancelled the man's corrections order as he had only completed eight of the 120 hours imposed in 2016 for driving while disqualified and drink driving.
He was re-sentenced on those charges to an aggregate fine of $2750.
Clarke stole $1010 from the Terang Hotel between September 2017 and September 2018.
The money was a combination of catering staff wages and funds raised as part of the Parma for a Farmer campaign.
Clarke was a permanent resident of the hotel at the time. He snooped through the kitchen, locating the funds in a fridge and taking small amounts of cash from envelopes marked for each employee.
The employer replaced the money when the employees noticed some of their funds were missing.
Clarke was identified through CCTV footage and arrested on September 29 last year.
During a police interview, he told officers he spent the stolen money on alcohol.
He was charged and bailed to appear in court in January.
He failed to appear in court on that day and a subsequent charge was laid.
The stolen money was repaid on Monday.
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