Former federal MP Craig Thomson is sorry for the hurt his crimes have caused family and friends, his wife says.
Thomson, 49, faces up to five years in jail for using his Health Services Union credit cards to pay for prostitutes and to make cash withdrawals.
Zoe Thomson says the couple and their children have suffered media scrutiny “bordering on harassment” since the allegations first surfaced.
In a character reference tendered in court this week, Ms Thomson said the scandal had interrupted their otherwise normal lives.
“I know Craig is sorry for the hurt he has caused his friends, family, colleagues and supporters,” she said.
Prosecutors told a plea hearing that Thomson has not uttered a single word of remorse over his misuse of more than $24,000 of union funds.
Ms Thomson said her husband was a devoted family man.
“Craig is the best dad I have ever met – he is beloved by his children,” she said.
Community leader Ceri Aubrey said Thomson was a compassionate man who had “never lied or shirked responsibility”.
Jack and Shona Thomson said their son had made an outstanding contribution to public life.
“Craig has impressed not only us but all of the people who know him well .. as a highly ethical person and a very decent citizen,” they said in their reference.
Prosecutors on Tuesday said Thomson must be jailed after he was found to have misused $24,538 while national secretary of the Health Services Union and a Labor MP.
However, Thomson’s lawyers say he should be spared jail as he is suffering a major depressive illness, has no prospects of a career and can never re-enter public life.
Thomson will be sentenced in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday.