Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Co-op worker mistakenly paid 1m

A supermarket employee who alerted bosses when he was mistakenly paid more than £1m has been rewarded with a crate of beer.

Stephen Foster, who works at the Co-op's distribution centre in Birtley, Gateshead, was alerted to the error on his December payslip by his girlfriend.

He had been paid £1.4m, or £800,000 after deductions.

The Co-op said it received the money back within 12 hours and praised Mr Foster's "exemplary behaviour".

Coming as it does just before Christmas, it's the kind of act that renews your faith in human nature
Co-op spokesman

Mr Foster, of Gateshead, is unable to speak about the incident because of restrictions in his contract.

A spokesman for the firm said: "Due to an error in our wages department earlier this month, Stephen Foster, an employee at our Birtley regional distribution centre, received a monthly salary payment of £1.4m.

"After deductions, around £800,000 was paid into his bank account.

"This was somewhat higher than he would normally expect but thanks to his honesty and that of his girlfriend, who first spotted the error, he immediately informed us of the mistake and the money was back with us within 12 hours of it being paid to him.

"We were surprised and concerned about our mistake but not by Stephen's exemplary behaviour, which is typical of him.

"Coming as it does just before Christmas, it's the kind of act that renews your faith in human nature."



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