The Sainsbury’s data expert who was found guilty just before Christmas of scamming the supermarket chain out of nearly £75,000 worth of Nectar points has been jailed for 20 months.
James Stevenson, 45, of Muswell Hill, London used his access to the supermarket giant’s computer systems to transfer the loyalty points to 18 false Nectar accounts he had set up.
He had access to the IT networks controlling Sainsbury’s Nectar card scheme at its London HQ, the Old Bailey heard.
Stevenson, who had worked for the firm for 20 years, then went on test runs, buying only one item at a time with Nectar cards. Once the test run was successful, he went back into the shop and used the card again to pay for a full trolley.
He had pleaded guilty to theft of millions of Nectar points with a redemption value of £73,207.80 by transferring them to accounts in his possession between November 17, 2002, and May 24, 2003.
Stevenson, married with two children, was sentenced to 20 months for fraud but will be released after 10 months on licence.
Judge Peter Thornton QC told him: “You abused your position at Sainsbury’s headquarters. You were entrusted to be honest but you were dishonest. Your motivation was entrusted to be honest but you were dishonest. Your motivation was clearly greed.
“This was carefully-planned, well worked fraud on Sainsbury’s. Nor was this done on the spur of the moment. Your dishonesty took place over a period of years.”
Stevenson was also ordered to pay £8,120 in compensation and a confiscation hearing is to take place on February 13.
Data chief guilty of Nectar theft