A former Body Shop employee has been fined £85,000 for insider dealing in the retailer’s shares.

John Shevlin, a computer technician, hacked into company e-mails that revealed bad trading data. He then borrowed£29,000, which he used to short sell the store group’s shares, making a profit of£38,472.

Financial Services Authority director of enforcement Margaret Cole said Shevlin “abused the trust placed in him by his employers and misused his technical skills to gain a financial advantage over other market users”.

She advised that companies take note of what had happened and ensure market sensitive information was protected.

Cole said: “Where individuals circumvent these protections, they should expect to face significant financial or other sanctions.”

Body Shop was sold to cosmetics giant L’Oréal in 2006.