Standon Calling festival chief jailed for swindling Tesco

Alexander Trenchard given 30 months for theft and fraud

Standon Calling festival chief jailed for swindling Tesco

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

The head of Hertfordshire's Standon Calling festival has been jailed for 30 months for swindling Tesco out of £355,000.

Alexander Trenchard was today (February 3) found guilty of theft and fraud at Aylesbury Crown Court after using the money to bankroll the event.

Acts including Super Furry Animals, Glasvegas and Florence And The Machine have played the festival in the past. It is set to take place on August 11-14 this year – and a spokesperson has confirmed that, despite today's news, it will go ahead as normal.

Trenchard started working for the supermarket company in 2002 as a graduate trainee, and after a series of promotions was given a company credit card, reports the Herts And Essex Observer. He manipulated his expenses limit and, with debt clearing bills included, lost the company £355,000.

He used the money to fund the festival and keep on top of its debts, but was found out during a Tesco audit last year. He pleaded guilty to one offence of theft and one offence of fraud by false representation.

Lawyer Patrick Gibbs, defending Trenchard, said his client was "kind and obsessed" with the festival.

Judge Tyrer, sentencing, said: "I accept this became an obsession, rather like gambling, but the fact is it went on for a significant amount of time."

Trenchard's debt to Tesco was paid by his parents – his father is Hugh, 3rd Viscount Trenchard.

Standon Calling became a live music event in 2004 and took place at the grounds of the family home of Standon Lordship.

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