A former court worker who last month became the first person to be convicted under the Bribery Act 2010 has been jailed for six years.
Munir Patel was convicted of bribery and misconduct in a public office after admitting that he received a bribe in his role as an administrative officer at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court.
Last month, Patel pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to requesting and receiving a £500 bribe to “get rid” of a speeding charge and to misconduct in public office for other similar offences.
Today, Patel was sentenced to three years for bribery and six years for misconduct in a public office, to be served concurrently.
During Patel’s sentencing, the judge stressed that it was important that those who were tempted to “behave in this way” understood that there would be serious consequences for their actions.
Stephen Simpson, senior employment law editor at XpertHR, said that employers should use this case to warn workers of the repercussions of bribery.
“Any doubts that this would be a soft law or that employers don’t need to take action on bribery have been swept aside by the court, which has set down a marker for sentences under the Bribery Act.
“Even after pleading guilty, the sentence for the bribery offence was three years for an offence that the judge described as ‘very serious’. Employers training staff on bribery may wish to use this case as an example of the consequences of breaking the law. A warning of a possible custodial sentence should make employees sit up and take notice.”
If you are an employer looking to ensure compliance with the Bribery Act 2010, you can view model anti-bribery documents, including policies, risk assessment forms and forms for employees to report bribery on XpertHR.