More than 20 people charged in corruption investigation at Barkingside Magistrates' Court

East London court at centre of police probe into conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, bribery and perverting the course of justice

A trainee barrister is among more than 20 people charged with criminal offences in a corruption investigation at an east London court.

The Metropolitan Police probe at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court looked into conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office, bribery and perverting the course of justice.

Two people stand accused of misconduct in a public office and 21 more are charged with perverting the course of justice.

More than 40 people were originally arrested by officers from Redbridge borough but 15 were released without further action and others may still be charged.

The corruption investigation, codenamed Operation Theemin, started in 2011, when a national newspaper alleged a court clerk was taking bribes from driving offenders to avoid entering records, allowing them to avoid licence points and fines.

Munir Patel, then aged 21 of Green Lane, Dagenham, was jailed for six years in November 2011 after admitting misconduct in a public office, perverting the course of justice and bribery.

Southwark Crown Court heard he approached offenders to offer his illegal services, sending a text message to one target reading: “I only do this for Asian bruvs. I do this all day long.”

Patel was the first person to be jailed under the Bribery Act.

The suspects, aged between 20 and 33, are from various parts of east London.

All 23 have been released on bail to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.