A senior manager at soft drink manufacturer Coca-Cola has handed a 20 month suspended sentence after accepting bribes worth £1.5m.
A judge at Southwark Crown Court handed 56-year-old Coca-Cola executive Noel Corry a 20-month suspended sentence and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
The Coca-Cola exec’s conviction comes after Corry admitted handing out lucrative contracts, in return for free football match tickets and cash bribes.
The senior manager took £950,000 worth of bribes from manufacturing company Boulting Group Ltd – now WABGS Limited – and a further £600,000 from Tritec Systems, in return for contracts worth millions.
Two others, including Boulting Group Ltd exec Peter Kinsella and Tritec Systems director Gary Haines, were also given 12 and 20 month suspended sentences for their roles in the bribery scheme. WABGS was also fined £500,000 while Tritec Systems Ltd was fined £70,000.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutor Alistair Dickson accused Corry of establishing a “corrupt culture” in Coca-Cola, of which the drinks maker was “wholly unaware”.
Detective Superintendent John Roch 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,” the detective said.
The fines against the companies also mark the first convictions against corporations for failing to prevent bribery, Roch said.