A former magistrates’ court administrative officer has on October 14 admitted taking a ¬£500 bribe to “get rid” of a speeding charge. This is the first prosecution and conviction under the Bribery Act 2010. Munir Patel pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to bribery and misconduct in public office….
Gaon Hart, Senior Crown Advocate for the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said after the case: "Public corruption is an extremely serious offence that undermines public faith in the integrity of those who work in the criminal justice system. The prosecution case is that Patel abused his position as a court administrative officer at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court in East London, to solicit a bribe from a member of the public.
"Public servants are required to act with integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality but Patel’s actions could not have been further from each of these. His conduct has brought into disrepute the criminal justice system as he sought to undermine the very laws which he was employed to uphold. The public rightly expects criminal cases to be dealt with fairly and professionally, and the police, courts and CPS have all worked together to deal with this case swiftly and robustly.
"This prosecution is the first of its kind under the Bribery Act 2010 which has provided a significant weapon in the armoury of prosecutors that enables us to focus on the bribery element rather than general misconduct behaviour. We will continue to target those who act corruptly purely for personal gain and tailor the charge to reflect their wrong-doing."
Patel pleaded guilty to section 2 of the Bribery Act 2010 for requesting and receiving a bribe of £500 for offering to ‘get rid’ of a speeding charge for someone. He also pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office for other similar offences. The seven charges of possessing false garage receipts for use in fraud have been ordered to lie on file.
Munir Patel will be sentenced on 11 November 2011 at Southwark Crown Court.