Christopher Hocking had drunk seven or eight canned beers and cracked open a bottle of gin the night before he woke up at 5am with what seemed a great idea.
The ACT government project manager would meet a contractor and ask for a $100,000 kickback in exchange for giving the contractor more projects.
But the contractor recognised the offer for the crime it was and reported Hocking to police.
Nine months later, the former Transport Canberra and City Services employee has acknowledged the idea conceived in the haze of a hangover was not a good one.
Justice Michael Elkaim sentenced him on Monday to 18 months jail for bribery, but suspended the sentence on him signing a good behaviour order.
Hocking, 38, told the ACT Supreme Court at his sentencing hearing that he had drunk several beers on January 14, a Sunday, when he called the contractor to arrange a meeting.
He said he cracked open a bottle of gin and drank some more before calling the man a second time, telling him to drop the bid by $50,000 on another project and they would likely be successful on this project.
Hocking called him a third time but said he did not remember the conversation.
The following day Hocking asked the contractor to turn his phone off before asking for the $100,000 payout and suggested the contractor produce a paper bag of untraceable cash that could be left at a carpark.
The contractor reported the conversation to police.
In April, the contractor met with Hocking again but this time wore a wire. Hocking had by that time been stood down from work and he tried to coach the contractor to forget their last conversation.
Hocking, of Kaleen, pleaded guilty to the crime of bribery.
He told the court the plan was not premeditated but that he had thought it a great idea at 5am that morning when he woke still hazy from the night before.
"I didn't think it through," he said.
The court heard he was earning $110,000 a year in the role, and had recently switched from a contractor to salary position, which had dropped his weekly income.
He agreed he had felt the impact of the reduction in his salary but said he did not make excuses for his conduct.
Asked by his barrister, James Lawton, why he wanted $100,000, the man said he liked round numbers.
Hocking, who now works as an arborist in a company he runs, said he took full responsibility for the crime and had worked to curb his drinking since then.
But prosecutor Rae-ann Khazma told the court Hocking had used alcohol for dutch courage to follow through with his illegal plan.
She pointed to the need to maintain the integrity of the territory's administration and said Hocking's conduct undermined the government's tender process.
Justice Elkaim said he accepted the crime had been out of character and was prompted in part by the man's anxiety about his financial situation.
He said the man was drinking far too much at the time, but had since worked to curb his intake, though he noted Hocking had a problem with impulse control.
The judge sentenced the man to an 18-month suspended sentence and put him on a good behaviour order with the condition he continue to address his alcohol abuse.
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