June 18 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, May 24, 2012
A corrupt Redbridge court clerk who made legal history when he became the first person to be jailed under new bribery legislation has today had two years slashed from his sentence.
Munir Patel was locked up for six years in November for abusing his privileged access to the court system to help more than 50 speeding offenders avoid prosecution.
The 23-year-old, who worked at Redbridge Magistrates’ Court, Cranbrook Road, Barkingside – now known as Barkingside Magistrates’ Court – was caught out after he promised motorist Jayraj Singh he would “take care” of a penalty charge in return for £500.
But the driver rang a national newspaper to report the illegal approach and a reporter later filmed Patel pocketing the cash.
A subsequent police investigation revealed Patel had made similar arrangements with at least 53 different motorists, making an estimated £20,000 in the process.
Patel was jailed for six years at Southwark Crown Court in November after admitting misconduct in a public office and bribery.
Judge Alistair McCreath gave him a three year sentence for the bribery charge, to run alongside a six year term for misconduct.
But today, Patel’s lawyer Janice Johnson appealed against the length of the sentence at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Patel was not present because he was worried he would be moved prisons if he attended.
Ms Johnson argued that the sentence imposed was ‘excessive’.
The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Irwin, agreed the term was excessive and reduced the total six year term to four years.
Members of Patel’s family celebrated outside with Ms Johnson after the decision was delivered.
Patel. previously of Green Lane, Dagenham has already served six months of his four-year sentence. He could now be released in just 18 months.
A teenage girl thought she was escaping an argument when she got into a car with a Chadwell Heath man – but he took her to a house and raped her, a court heard today.