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Court clerk jailed for taking bribes

A court clerk has become the first person to be jailed under the Bribery Act when he was sentenced to six years yesterday.

Munir Patel, 22, from Dagenham in east London, took £500 to avoid putting details of a traffic summons on a court database while he was working at Redbridge magistrates' court in August. He admitted one count of bribery but the prosecution at Southwark Crown Court believes he earned at least £20,000 by helping 53 offenders.

The court heard how he used his position to tamper with the court system so their cases would effectively be dropped.

He was given a three-year prison term for bribery and ordered to serve six years concurrently for misconduct in a public office.

Judge Alistair McCreath said: "A justice system in which officials are prepared to take bribes in order to allow offenders to escape the proper consequences of their offending is inherently corrupt."