Serge Savoie, a former Conservative candidate for the Acadie-Bathurst riding has been sentenced to four months of house arrest for forging signatures on cheques from the party.

Savoie, a candidate in the 2006 federal election pleaded guilty to forging signatures on cheques addressed to himself.

The 61-year-old was one of several members of the riding association with the power to sign cheques from the party. He signed and forged others' signatures on eight cheques addressed to himself, totaling $1,921.34 in 2006.

Judge Ronald Basque ordered Savoie to pay back back the amount immediately.

Savoie's lawyer, David Paulin, explained that Savoie had been dealing with addictions to alcohol, prescription drugs, and gambling at the time of the fraud, and has since received treatment for his conditions.

Takes full responsibility

Savoie then addressed the judge, taking full responsibility for his actions, and thanking his family for support.

He alleged that his family has been hurt by the media attention surrounding the charges, and that in the court of public opinion, he had been found guilty before his court appearance.

Basque followed the Crown's recommendations and sentenced Savoie to four months of house arrest, followed by 12 months of parole. 

He said Savoie had abused the trust of the Conservative riding association, but had made great strides toward rehabilitation.

Savoie also pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of uttering threats to several family members.

He has been ordered to stay away from their place of residence for 12 months, and to keep the peace.