Morrisons insider trader jailed for year

Leeds Crown Court heard how Coyle used his wife's name to buy Ocado shares online

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The Independent Online

Wm Morrison’s former treasurer and head of tax has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for insider dealing after he bought shares in Ocado ahead of the supermarket’s £210m link-up with the online grocer.

Paul Coyle pleaded guilty to two counts of insider dealing after making off with profits in excess of £79,000.

He must pay £203,000 plus £15,000 in legal fees after Mr Justice Globe said: “The offending was so serious that an immediate custodial sentence must be imposed.”

Leeds Crown Court heard how Coyle used his wife’s name to buy Ocado shares online in February and May 2013, just before Morrison announced that it would use Ocado’s established service to launch home deliveries – a deal he had been involved with. When the announcement was eventually made public, it sent Ocado shares soaring 250 per cent.

Following his arrest, Coyle was suspended from his role and later sacked.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “While this was a regrettable case of an individual acting alone we are pleased that our governance and processes were sufficiently robust to enable the authorities to achieve a successful prosecution.

“We are also pleased that the case has concluded and that the FCA’s investigation did not raise wider concerns for the company.”