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Car parts conman told to pay £260,000

Simon Wensley.
Simon Wensley.

A JAGUAR Land Rover employee who stole car parts worth up to £2million from the company’s Gaydon site has been ordered to pay the car maker more than £260,000 in compensation — or face an extra three years in prison.

Disgraced former logistics coordinator 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.

The 56-year-old, 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 for a police financial investigation into his assets to be carried out.

When that had been completed, the court heard that Wensley, who had maintained his innocence despite the verdicts, did not accept the findings.

But after further discussions on the day the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was due to take place, prosecutor, Rupert Jones, and Wensley’s barrister, Ben Williams, said figures had been agreed.

Mr Jones said Wensley’s benefit from the thefts had been a total of £846,860.02 — and, taking into account a share in the value of the marital home, his assets totalled £260,261.29.

So Judge Stephen Eyre QC made a confiscation order in that amount under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He ordered it to be paid in full within three months, with Wensley facing an additional three years in jail in default, and to be used to pay compensation to JLR Gaydon.

The thefts took place between May 2010 and early 2013 when Wensley worked in the vehicle safety department.

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.

The ‘fairly small parts’ were for an engine which had not been produced by JLR since 2007, but more than 2,000 — enough for more than 400 engines — had been ordered, mainly by Wensley.

He was also frequently ordering 14 other specific parts which were not required for tests being carried out at that time.

Almost 4,500 parts, with a retail value of more than £2million, were ordered by Wensley for vehicles which were no longer being produced, but which could be sold on to owners of such vehicles.

The court also heard in 2011 and 2012 Wensley had also defrauded HMRC by claiming motor expenses for using his own vehicle for work when he was actually using the JLR van.

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