Werribee thief Paul Pecora, who raided funeral donation box, ordered cash back
“I am satisfied on the psychiatric material, in the context of a period of intense family mourning, Mr. Pecora returned to this offense within a short period,” Ms. Hayes said.
“He has since re-engaged in in-game counseling and… I accept that he is no longer playing.”
She believed Pecora would be unlikely to reoffend if he continued to give advice and admitted that he had started the process of banning gambling venues near his home. However, she agreed with a police prosecutor who last week described the theft of a funeral as a low act.
Police Attorney Geoff Adams urged the magistrate to impose community service work as part of the order, despite an assessment by prison officials that a health problem would make the task too difficult for Pecora.
“The reality is that this offense is an offense against all aspects of common decency in the community,” Mr. Adams said.
“The community correction order deals with rehabilitation… but I still submit that some community work would also help to denounce and reinforce with Mr. Pecora that this type of behavior is not at all acceptable.”
The magistrate said she would impose 100 hours of unpaid community work on “light duty”, subject to medical clearance. The Community Corrections Order will also include advice for his gambling addiction.
Mrs Hayes ordered Pecora to reimburse the money he had stolen.
Pecora’s attorney, Kieran Reynolds, said his client wanted to reimburse the money related to the funeral theft immediately, so those victims could be “reassured as this has been finalized.”
Money stolen from slot machines would take longer to be refunded, he said.
Pecora, who appeared at the hearing online by phone, only spoke to confirm he could hear the proceedings and say he accepted the order, which lasts 12 months.
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