A man stole from a betting syndicate before fleeing town with the money, the Gore District Court was told last week.
Norman James Richards, 66, appeared before Judge Michael Turner on a charge of theft at Kaikoura on December 14.
He was sentenced to six months' supervision and ordered to pay $2625 reparation.
Judge Turner said Richards and his friends became involved in a betting syndicate, each investing $10 a week. Half was banked and the other half went on bets.
Richards was chosen to be in charge of the finances and kept the account book, the judge said.
On the final week he informed his friends they would each be paid $375, which represented their return, but before he withdrew the funds he left town and failed to pay any of the members, Judge Turner said.
When spoken to by police he admitted the theft.
Judge Turner said alcohol and gambling problems seemed to be at the heart of Richards' offending.
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