Tesco’s bullying claims not in evidence’

Julia Quenzler

There is no evidence that Tesco’s former finance chief bullied staff to falsify the company’s accounts, a court has heard.

Carl Rogberg lawyer Nicholas Purnell has said the prosecution’s accusations were wide of the mark.

Three former executives have been investigated over their alleged role in a £246m Tesco accounting scandal.

They are accused of fraud by abuse of position and false accounting, between February and September 2014.

Mr Purnell said: “What testimony in the case in which the prosecution has described directed by Mr Rogberg to behave in a way or another?”

“These proposals, which the prosecution wanted to show a group of people together to coerce and bully people into behaving in a certain way, is simply not reflected in the evidence that you heard.”The circle of knowledge”

In the month of September 2014, Tesco said it had overstated profit of around £246m.

Mr Rogberg was “outside the circle of knowledge,” a report prepared in the period of this proclamation, known as the legacy paper, Mr Purnell said.

Mr Purnell described Tesco’s management as a similar size to the “civil service of the country’s media”.

He said Mr Rogberg received more than 2,000 reports each month and was in charge of the 250 to 300 people in the UK finance team.

His office was in a completely different location for the accounting department and he does not attend meetings or to consult the documents relating to the investigation, Mr Purnell added.

“The way in which Tesco has been organized, in this period, for a number of different functions in different geographical areas,” she told jurors at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Rogberg, Chris Bush, Tesco’s former UK managing director, and John Scouler, its food commercial head, denies the allegations.