September 1 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A total of 29 people appeared in court today as part of a huge investigation into alleged corruption and bribery at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.
The group are accused of involvement in a con to avoid driving penalty points and fines being properly recorded.
Trainee barrister Karandeep Sanghera, 25, of Eric Road, Chadwell Heath, stands accused of misconduct in a public office, along with court clerk Parminder Ghatora, 31, from Coventry, and Shinthuga Ratnaselvam, 26, of Westernville Gardens, Ilford.
The other defendants are charged with perverting the court of justice.
They include vehicle service worker Zain Akthar, 20, of The Drive, Ilford, and electrical engineer Faisal Hussain, 26, of Gyllyngdune Gardens, Goodmayes.
All appeared briefly at Southwark Crown Court but spoke only to confirm their names and were bailed by the judge, Jeffrey Pegden QC.
They will be given the option to enter pleas to the charges at the next hearing on May 16.
Police started investigating alleged corruption at the court after the arrest of clerk Munir Patel, who was imprisoned in 2011 for taking bribes.
Patel, then 22, of Green Lane, Dagenham, admitted taking the money to stop records of driving penalties being entered and helping people avoid being summoned to court over traffic offences.