Ferry boss jailed

Sydney Ferries' Geoff Smith gets two years for living off his company credit card.

Disgraced former Sydney Ferries boss Geoff Smith has been sentenced to two years in prison for putting hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenses on his company credit card.

The retired rear admiral said he had no choice because he was living beyond his means.

Smith was sacked as chief executive of the state-run operator in 2009.

He spent AUD 273,000 ($256,500) on jewellery, holidays, alcohol, groceries and private school fees, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Smith, 64, pleaded guilty in April to defrauding Sydney Ferries between May 2008 and February 2009.

The sentence has been suspended until August pending assessment for an intensive correction order, which involves the wearing of an ankle tag.

Smith said his AUD 20,000 a month income was eaten up by monthly repayments of AUD 11,500 on his AUD 2m home and paying off credit card debts.

He said he always intended to repay the money by selling the property.