The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011. Under Section 2 of the Act, it is an offence for a person to request, agree to receive or accept a financial or other advantage intending that, in consequence, a relevant function or activity should be performed improperly.
A former Magistrates’ Court clerk has become the first person to be convicted under the Act. Munir Yakub Patel pleaded guilty to bribery and misconduct in public office. He admitted taking a £500 bribe from a member of the public in order to prevent details of a speeding charge from appearing on the Court database and also pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office for similar offences. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for misconduct in public office, to be served concurrently with a three-year sentence for bribery.
Gaon Hart, senior crown advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said, “This prosecution is the first of its kind under the Bribery Act 2010, which has provided a significant weapon in the armoury of prosecutors that enables us to focus on the bribery element rather than general misconduct behaviour. We will continue to target those who act corruptly purely for personal gain and tailor the charge to reflect their wrongdoing.”
Guidance on the Bribery Act, including case studies to illustrate what approach businesses might take in certain situations, can be found on the Ministry of Justice website. There is also a 'quick start guide' to the Act.