Prosecutor jailed for accepting bribe

A corrupt Crown prosecutor who pocketed thousands of pounds to use his position to discontinue a case was jailed for four-and-a-half years today.

Sarfraz Ibrahim, 51, of Cyncoed, Cardiff, south Wales, was Gwent Crown Prosecution Service trials chief at the time.

He was jailed at Swansea Crown Court today after admitting corruption, perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office.

Ibrahim was arrested last August after being caught in an elaborate undercover sting operation carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

He and an associate were put under surveillance after Soca grew anxious about Ibrahim's potentially corrupt activities.

An "integrity test" was devised to see whether he and the associate were prepared to act corruptly.

The associate was eventually identified as a man called Saifur Rahman Khan, 37, who lived close to Ibrahim in Cardiff.

Over four months, until their arrest last summer, both men were gradually tested to see whether they were honest.

A fictional scenario was created which presented them with an apparently lucrative opportunity requiring Ibrahim to use his position to intervene in a case.

It centred on an assault case which Ibrahim was able to "manoeuvre" in such a way that he was eventually able to mark it "no further action".

Unknown to either man, the case was bogus and specifically created by Soca to test their honesty.

Mr Justice Treacy, passing sentence today, told Ibrahim: "You did not just offend the core principles of your profession, but you committed crimes which are universally recognised as serious. The breach of trust is great."

He said: "I am sure that you were motivated by personal gain from the outset.

"I know also that you lied to the police to conceal your guilt.

"It is clear to me that you were not persuaded or led in any of these offences by anyone else.

"The tapes and the evidence I have heard make that only too clear."

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said that Ibrahim had disgraced the CPS through a serious breach of trust.

Mr Starmer said: "Sarfraz Ibrahim has pleaded guilty to very serious offences. In doing so, he has admitted not only that his behaviour was criminal but also that he committed a serious breach of trust and abused his position.

"When the guilty pleas were entered at court, he was immediately dismissed from the CPS.

"While criminal behaviour of this serious nature is extremely rare in the service, the CPS will prosecute all such cases robustly and will not hesitate to take action against any member of its staff who brings discredit on the service. This behaviour will not be tolerated in our organisation.

"As soon as we were alerted that one of our lawyers was under investigation, a senior lawyer at our organised crime division was allocated the case and has worked very closely from the outset of the investigation with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca)."

Mr Starmer added: "The public has a right to expect the highest standards of professional behaviour from CPS employees and I will not tolerate anything less.

"All necessary action will always be taken to ensure that the public can continue to have confidence in all those who prosecute on their behalf."