SHE was his former girlfriend, but that did not stop Christopher Scott Campbell conning her out of $23,000.
In 2012 the 44-year-old Marcoola man reconnected with a former partner and extracted tens-of-thousands of dollars from her during a five-month period.
Police prosecution legal officer Beth Kennedy said Campbell told his ex-partner he was overseas doing security work and that he needed money.
"He initially asked for money to come back and see her but later asked for medical reasons, he said he was injured and would pay her back, none of which was true," Ms Kennedy said.
The woman stopped making payments when she discovered the ruse after handing over $23,194, and received a phone call from Campbell's then-wife.
More than five years later Campbell has finally paid back all the money he defrauded from his ex, handing over a cheque for about $20,000 during court proceedings on Friday.
In the months after his victim discovered the fraud and tried to get her money back, Campbell made seven payments to her amounting to $3350.
Lawyer Simon Lewis said Campbell had been receiving treatment for a psychological illness, and that this matter had been proceeding through the Mental Health Court.
"There was a report ordered by the Mental Health Court that realistically showed it was unlikely, despite my client's previous illness, that a defence was going to be found in that court," he said.
Mr Lewis said Campbell had been mis-prescribed steroids, and in combination with other medication that had exacerbated the "fanciful nature" that led to the offending.
Campbell was sentenced to two years in prison for fraud, suspended immediately for two years.