With the internet last week abuzz over the online petition to bring back hanging a movement only likely to gain momentum after the riots a recent charity stunt by Payzone bosses was particularly apt.

Three of the payment provider’s directors agreed to be sponged in a gallows-like erection, much as wrongdoers would get pelted with rotten fruit in the stocks at an olde village fete. Sadly, the gallows didn’t turn up on the day, so they were instead plonked in deckchairs when the deluge began.

Staff were having so much fun they chipped in to chuck the whole barrel of water over their bosses, before finally bringing out the coup de grâce custard pies.

As the company matches what its employees raise for good causes, the directors were effectively paying out to get pied in the face.

It’s not yet clear whether the affair was a deliberate echo of ever so ‘umble Rupert Murdoch taking one in the eye for News International a wry ­critique of the robust ­corporate governance at Payzone, perhaps.

Pictured (left to right) are new managing director Gary Jennison, sales director Mark Mellor and customer service chief James Lewis.