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Court clerk jailed under the Bribery Act

A clerk at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court, who took bribes to assist offenders to avoid traffic summonses, has become the first person convicted under the Bribery Act and has been jailed for six years.

Munir Patel admitted one count of bribery by asking for £500 to avoid putting details of a traffic summons on a court database. The prosecution, however, believe he earned £20,000 by helping 53 offenders, by manipulating the judicial process in order to save offenders from fines, penalty points and disqualification. Mr Patel was sentenced to 6 years in prison, in all, for bribery and misconduct in a public office. The severity of the offence was aggravated by Mr Patel seeking out those being prosecuted and suggesting he could help them overcome their problems for a payment. The Bribery Act makes it illegal to offer or receive bribes, and for employers to fail to prevent bribery. This case serves as a wake-up call, not just for employees, but also for employers who have yet to review, or introduce, anti-bribery policies.

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