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Banker jailed for insider trading

A CITY banker who amassed more than £500,000 through "deliberate and dishonest" acts of insider trading alongside his wife and a friend has been jailed for three years and four months.

Christian Littlewood (37) used his position as a corporate finance adviser to listen in to conversations in city pubs and spy on colleagues' computer screens and documents.

Southwark Crown Court heard his wife used her Chinese name to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in companies he found out were about to be bought.

He would tip off Angie Littlewood (39), who is also known as Siew Yoon Lew, when he learned the sensitive information that a company's share price was set to increase.

Alongside the couple, juice bar owner Helmy Omar Sa'aid (34) also stood in the dock.

The three all admitted eight charges of insider trading between March 2000 and August 2008.

They trio invested £2,150,000 and made a profit of £590,000.

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Sentencing Christian Littlewood to three years, four months for each of the eight counts, to run concurrently, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: "This is the biggest prosecution for insider dealing that has ever been brought before this court."

Referring to past cases, he added: "None of those cases have matched this one in terms of scale or profits made."

He said the "level of planning and sophistication was high", with Littlewood motivated by avarice.

He called Littlewood "skilled" in his role, but added: "You, to amass yet more wealth, could not resist making use of the sensitive information you had."

Littlewood's wife was spared jailed and given a 12-month suspended sentence.

Sa'aid was given a two-year jail sentence for each of the eight counts, to run concurrently.

Judge Leonard said he was sparing Mrs Littlewood jail as he considered it "unjust" to separate a mother from her children.

She was also deemed to be in a "moderate depressive state".