Laptop dumped in pond to hurt former employer Marsh

Euan Nicolson, head of Aon's upstream and offshore division, may be jailed for dumping a laptop and memory stick in a pond despite an injunction from his previous employer Marsh, the Telegraph reports.

In a hearing yesterday at the High Court of Justice, Mr Justice Akenhead ordered that a full hearing on contempt of court and making false statements charges be held later this year.

Marsh accused Nicolson of breaching the terms of his gardening leave contract by helping Aon win a contract previously held by Marsh with Italian oil and gas contractor Saipem.

Data lost

Marsh won a court ruling ordering Nicolson not to "destroy, tamper with, cancel or part with possession, power, custody or control" with any personal computers, telephones, personal data appliance, memory sticks or hard drives in case they had been used to help Aon win the contract.

Nicolson later admitted that he had thrown a laptop into a pond that was used to send and receive emails for Aon and for work on the Saipem tender.

He also admitted that the computer – which was later recovered – was used to stay in contact with five other Marsh colleagues who resigned at a similar time as him and were all due to join Aon. Nicolson also discarded three or four USB storage devices in a river.

Marsh says the USB devices have still not been recovered, with 41% of the data on the computer lost.