A building company director offered bungs to win lucrative road-digging contracts from a cable TV company, a court was told last week.

Cormac Byrne, 38, a director of Enfield-based Cable Network Systems, won contracts worth nearly £10m from Bell Cablemedia between 1995 and 1996.

Byrne is accused of paying Bell Cablemedia director of construction Michael Simmons about £300 000 in bribes.

Southwark Crown Court heard that the payments worked out at about £1 for each of the 300 000 m of cable laid for contracts in Leeds, Harrogate and Dartford in Kent.

The alleged bribes came to light after an investigation at Bell Cablemedia led to Simmons’ suspension. Byrne was arrested in 1996 after a company audit.

Philip Mott, prosecuting, said: “This is a case about corruption. A case about money - big money - passing hands in the cable television industry.”

Byrne, of Winchmorton, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, denies four charges of making corrupt payments as inducement or reward between April 1995 and 31 January 1996.

The trial continues.