Dagenham court clerk convicted of bribery
A Dagenham court clerk has become the first person to be convicted under new wide-ranging bribery legislation.
Munir Yakub Patel, 22, agreed to use his position as an administration clerk at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court, Cranbrook Road, Barkingside, to avoid putting details of a traffic summons on a court database in exchange for �500.
Patel, of Green Lane, admitted the charge at Southwark Crown Court today.
He admitted one count of bribery and one count of misconduct in a public office after being caught on film by a national newspaper in August.
The misconduct charge stated that between February 23, 2009 and August this year Patel gave people advice about how to avoid being summoned to court over such matters.
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He denied seven counts of possession of an article for use in fraud.
He was found with photocopied blank receipts for a garage but the charges were left to lie on file.
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The Sun newspaper filmed him arranging the bribe with Jayraj Singh, who had been given a speeding penalty.
In court, Patel, wearing a grey suit, spoke only to confirm his name and age and plead to the charges.
Outside court, Gaon Hart, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Public corruption is an extremely serious offence that undermines public faith in the integrity of those who work in the criminal justice system.
“His conduct has brought into disrepute the criminal justice system as he sought to undermine the very laws which he was employed to uphold.”
He added: “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.”
Patel was bailed until November 11 when he will be sentenced.
Judge John Price warned him he may face immediate custody.
The maximum sentence is 10 years.