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Court of Appeal reduces sentence for court clerk convicted under Bribery Act

Last year Munir Patel became the first individual to be convicted of an offence under the Bribery Act 2010.   Mr Patel was a court clerk at Redbridge Magistrates' Court.  He was arrested after The sun filmed him arranging a bribe to prevent a traffic penalty for speeding being entered on the court's database.

Mr Patel pleaded guilty at southwark Crown Court to abusing his position to accept bribes and for misconduct in a public office.  The particulars of the offence were that he took £500 to avoid putting details of a traffic summons into the court's database.  However the prosecution asserted he earned at least £20,000 by helping 53 offenders.  In November 2011 Mr Patel was sentenced to three years for bribery and six years concurrently for misconduct in a public office.

In appealing, Mr Patel argued that the sentence was excessive for a young man of previous good character who had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.  Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with two other judges, accepted this submission stating "In our judgment, the appropriate sentence for this criminal activity remains a substantial sentence, but the sentence should be reduced from six to four years."


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