Guilty verdict for Behagg in potato bribery case

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A former finance director of potato supplier Greenvale has been found guilty of bribing a Sainsbury’s buyer in return for multimillion-pound potato contracts.

Andrew Behagg was convicted of one charge of corruption for having authorised corrupt payments to former Sainsbury’s potato buyer John Maylam.

Behagg is expected to be sentenced on 22 June.

He was told by the presiding judge, Nicholas Ainley, that he would “almost inevitably” face a prison sentence – “and a significant one at that” – given the scale of the corruption.

Maylam and a second former Greenvale employee, David Baxter, pleaded guilty to corruption charges at the beginning of the trial at Croydon Crown Court. They will also be sentenced on 22 June.

Greenvale owner Produce Investments said it had introduced new procedures to ensure abuse could never happen again.

“Our relationship with Sainsbury’s is now on a footing as before and we continue to be one of the largest suppliers of potatoes to shoppers all over the country,” the company added.

Sainsbury’s said: “This was an unacceptable and calculated crime against Sainsbury’s of a magnitude never experienced in our history. We are pleased that justice has been done with today’s verdict and we would like to thank the police for their thorough investigation.

“We demand the highest standards of all our colleagues and suppliers and Sainsbury’s code of conduct clearly details how we expect them to behave, and is reinforced by our confidential whistle-blowing line.”

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