A ‘staggeringly dishonest’ Jaguar Land Rover employee who stole car parts worth up to £2million from the company has been ordered to pay more than £260,000 compensation.
Disgraced former logistics co-ordinator Simon Wensley, who had used his own automotive business as a cover to sell the stolen parts, is currently serving a five-year jail term.
Wensley (56) of Kingsbury Road, Coundon, Coventry, had denied the theft and two fraud charges, but was convicted after a four-week trial at Warwick Crown Court in May last year.
On that occasion a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned pending a police financial investigation into his assets.
When that had been completed, the court heard that Wensley, who had maintained his innocence despite the verdicts, did not accept the findings.
Prosecutor Rupert Jones said Wensley’s benefit from the thefts totalled £846,860.02 – and, taking into account a share in the value of the marital home, his assets totalled £260,261.29.
The thefts took place between May 2010 and early 2013 when Wensley worked in the JLR vehicle safety department at its Gaydon site.
He had worked there since 2006 through a company called Wenztec Ltd, of which he was sole director, first as a project engineer and then returning in 2010 as a logistics co-ordinator for the vehicle safety department.
Miss Hobson said the thefts came to light when JLR’s investigation department noticed large numbers of parts were being ordered, including diesel fuel injectors, for no apparent reason.
Almost 4,500 parts were ordered by Wensley for vehicles which were no longer being produced, but which could be sold on to owners of such vehicles.
When police searched the premises of WT Motorsports, of which he was a director, they found parts worth £23,000.
Wensley’s bank accounts and tax records showed a declared income from Wenztec and WT Motorsports between 2010 and 2013 of just £36,785 – but more than £263,000 had gone into his accounts in cash during that period.
The jury rejected Wensley’s claim the money had come from his involvement in Masonic activities, his hobby of buying and selling Masonic regalia, and gambling.
Jailing Wensley, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC had told him: “This case concerns the systematic, planned, persistent and cynical theft of a quite staggering number of parts from one of the great Midlands institutions, one of the flagship companies in this country.
“It was a staggeringly dishonest breach of trust. Your thefts were unrelenting, sometimes 20 to 30 fuel injectors ordered at one time. The loss to Jaguar Land Rover was staggering.
“A business of whatever size has the right to be protected by these courts from thefts of this nature.”