Viscount son steals from Tesco to fund festival
February 4, 2011
An aristocrat who cheated Tesco out of £355,000 so he could fund a music festival has been jailed for 30 months. Alexander Trenchard, who is the son of Viscount Trenchard, used the money to bankroll Standon Calling music festival of which he was director.
The annual event, which was held in the grounds of his family’s 16th century mansion, featured well known acts such as Mumford & Sons, Friendly Fires and Florence and the Machine.
Trenchard, who started working at Tesco as a corporate affairs manager on a £70,000 a year salary after finishing university, siphoned funds from his company credit card. He used the money to pay for the festival and also to cover debt he had incurred from funding the event with his own money in 2007.
Trenchard withdrew and spent £196,000 over 21 months, totalling a debt of £355,000 to Tesco. The 32-year-old admitted one charge of fraud by misrepresentation and one charge of theft at his trial in Aylesbury Crown Court.
When sentencing Trenchard to 30 months behind bars, Judge Tyler said he could see that the music festival had become an obsession to the aristocrat, similar to gambling, but added that there was no excuse as the stealing carried on for a significant amount of time. Trenchard has been told he will serve at least 15 months of the sentence while his parents will pay off his debts until he is released.