PHOTO: ANZ’s Victorian and Tasmanian property manager received five emails from Scott Burgess demanding money in return for documents. (AAP)

A real estate agent who tried to blackmail one of Australia’s biggest banks into paying a $25,000 ransom for reams of confidential documents it left behind in a defunct branch has narrowly avoided jail.

Scott Burgess, 42, was instead placed on a two-year community corrections order over the scam, which Victorian County Court Judge Gerard Mullaly said was naive.

“Your exploitation of this situation that arose is to be condemned, but I cannot see this as a sophisticated, highly malevolent example of blackmail,” the judge said.

“Plainly it was not nearly sharp business practices and even with your level of naivety, you knew it was wrong.”

In February last year, ANZ’s Victorian and Tasmanian property manager, Miki Minakami, received five unsolicited emails from Burgess, after the bank returned the keys to its defunct Corryong branch.

But Ms Minakami became alarmed when Burgess began demanding money, telling her that sacks full of personal documents, which were meant to be destroyed, had been left behind in the move.