Leeds & West Yorkshire

Morrisons employee Andrew Skelton jailed over data leak

Andrew Skelton Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Andrew Skelton was a senior internal auditor at Morrisons' headquarters in Bradford

A Morrisons employee who posted staff data on the internet as a result of a grudge has been jailed for eight years.

Andrew Skelton, 43, leaked details of nearly 100,000 supermarket staff after he was accused of dealing legal highs at work, prosecutors said.

He then tried to cover his tracks by using a colleague's details to set up a fake email account.

Skelton, of Water Street, Liverpool, denied three charges of fraud but was found guilty at Bradford Crown Court.

The jury heard how he abused his position as a senior internal auditor at the firm's Bradford head office.

He sent information about staff salaries, bank details and National Insurance numbers to several newspapers and posted it on data sharing websites, in a data breach which cost the company more than £2m to rectify.

Risk of identity theft

David Holderness, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Andrew Skelton's motive appears to have been a personal grievance over a previous incident where he was accused of dealing in legal highs at work.

"The potential loss to his victims and the sheer quantity of potentially compromised data was very significant and could have resulted in employees' identities being stolen.

"The sentence imposed today sends out a very clear message that we will robustly prosecute serious fraudsters such as Skelton who believe they are above the law."

Det Ch Insp Gary Hooks of West Yorkshire Police said: "As a senior internal auditor for Morrisons, Skelton had access to sensitive company information.

"But in publishing this information on the internet, he abused this trust and put his colleagues at risk of their details being used for fraudulent purposes."

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