The West

A man who helped his friend fraudulently obtain more than $50,000 from a Perth council has been spared a prison sentence after pleading guilty to his crimes.

Walter Peter Czerkasow, 56, pleaded guilty in November to three counts of corruption by aiding his friend, a public officer, to act corruptly in his employment at the City of Stirling between June and August 2007.

The District Court heard today that Czerkasow had helped his friend divert funds totalling $52,743.50 from the City of Stirling for his own benefit.

Judge Audrey Braddock said the offence was a form of fraud.

“This type of offending can result and does result in a great loss of public faith and confidence in the institution of local government and their ability to provide services and behave suitably in the discharge of their duties,” the judge said.

In sentencing, Judge Braddock said she took into consideration Czerkasow’s previous good record and references that vouched for his good standing in the community.

Other mitigating circumstances were that he did not make a financial gain from the crime and he was not the main offender, she said.

Judge Braddock said she accepted that Czerkasow was manipulated by his friend and referenced a psychological report that found Czerkasow to have a lack of confidence.

While Czerkasow was unlikely to re-offend, general deterrence was a major factor to consider, Judge Braddock said.

She said Czerkasow had lived a “hardworking and modest life” and it was a form of “personal weakness” that made him go along with the pressure imposed by his friend.

Czerkasow was given a conditional suspended imprisonment order of 12 months, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to undergo supervision and any counselling deemed to be appropriate.

The West Australian

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