Shropshire company boss avoids jail after bribing Coca-Cola manager

Gary Haines, from Market Drayton, was the managing director of two firms involved in the bribery
Gary Haines, from Market Drayton, was the managing director of two firms involved in the bribery

Gary Haines, 60 and from Market Drayton, was part of a scheme which saw Coca-Cola Enterprises manager Noel Corry take more than £1.5 million in scraps.

Haines was the managing director of Tritec Systems and Electron Systems, companies which paid Corry more than £600,000.

The 56-year-old Coca-Cola manager provided Haines’ companies and a third firm called Boulting Group – now named WABGS Ltd – with confidential and sensitive information which gave them an advantage over rivals when bidding for contracts between 2004 and 2013.

At Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, Haines and Corry were both given 20-month suspended sentences while Peter Kinsella, 58, a contract manager at Boulting, was handed a 12-month suspended sentence.

All three have been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and the companies themselves have been fined between £70,000 and £500,000 for failing to prevent bribery.

Noel Corry worked for Coca-Cola Enterprises

Corry, who was a senior engineering manager responsible for identifying electrical services contractors for bottling plants in the UK, was forced to sell his family home and hand over his pension savings to repay Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd £1.7 million when his nine-year scheme was discovered.

The court previously heard Corry was given snippets through payments for “bogus” contracts for Coca-Cola Enterprises, in which work was never carried out, or had the firm pay more than the actual amount charged for real work and was sent the difference, prosecutors said.

By the time he was discovered and dismissed, Corry had received at least £950,000 from Boulting, while Tritec Systems and Electron Systems had paid more than £600,000 in bribes, the court heard.

Boulting, which was said to have benefited by £13 million, received a fine of £500,000, while the other two companies were made to pay £70,000.

Prosecutors said bribes would be made to Corry in the form of sham payments to a shell company he controlled through family members, Trojan Ltd, Alpha Windows – owned by his brother-in-law – or Axial Partnership Ltd, a company in which he was a partner.

He also received millions of thousands of dollars as sponsorship or through other payments to Droylsden FC, a football club also run by his brother-in-law and of which he was president.

Peter Kinsella was a regional manager at engineering company Boulting Group

Corry would also arrange expensive entertainment events through corporate events company Sports Management UK Ltd, including one payment of more than £11,000 for Manchester United season tickets, which would then be paid by companies he favoured.

Haines was eventually arrested when police raided his home in Pell Wall, Market Drayton, in March 2015.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of corruption while Corry, of Lymm, Cheshire, admitted five counts of corruption. Kinsella, of Manchester, pleaded guilty to three counts of corruption and three counts of conspiracy to bribe.

Tritec Systems had pleaded guilty to corruption and failure to prevent bribery; Electron Systems admitted corruption and failure to prevent bribery and WABGS pleaded guilty to one count of failure to prevent bribery.

Alistair Dickson of the CPS said: “Corry had established a corrupt culture in the procurement exercise, awarding contracts to those companies whose senior managers were prepared to bribe him for doing so.

“Coca Cola Enterprises were wholly unaware of Corry’s corrupt actions to enrich himself.

“The contracting companies should have had in place compliance measures which would have prevented the payments being made and led to the corruption being exposed.”

Detective Superintendent John Roch, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “Corry, Haines and Kinsella worked hard to present themselves as reputable, reliable and genuine businessmen but in fact they were the exact opposite.

“Corry’s role was one of power; he was the subject matter lead within Coca Cola Enterprises UK and although he did not make the final decision on competitive tenders, his opinion carried considerable influence with both the project managers and procurement team.

“This is the first time the Met has charged and convicted a company with failure to prevent bribery and sends a strong message to individuals out there who seek to create an advantage for their business.”

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