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Sun Newspaper Fake Sheikh Bribery Case - Not Guilty

Not guilty verdict - client exonerated
2 June, 2014
Business Crime

Lead Lawyer

Case study summary

Our solicitors defended a woman accused in the final case brought as a result of a ‘Fake Sheikh’ newspaper sting. Our client, a court employee, was cleared of misconduct in a public office. 25 other defendants were convicted. This was the test case for the Bribery Act 2010.

Case study

Our client was a junior administrator at Barkingside Magistrates Court, and was studying in the hope of one day becoming a barrister. This court sadly came to the attention of the public when Sun journalist Mazher Mahmood, also known as the 'Fake Sheikh', was able to purchase a not-guilty verdict in a speeding case from Munir Patel, a Magistrates' Court Legal Adviser. Patel pleaded guilty to offences under the Bribery Act 2010.

More than 25 motorists who had been caught speeding were then convicted at Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Our client had provided Patel with details of the not guilty verdicts while she was working at the court. This meant that she also appeared in the Crown Court case, accused of Misconduct in a Public Office.

Our specialist lawyers carried out a full investigation into her work duties, job description, and requested full disclosure from the prosecution as to what they had discovered about her role. We used all this material to show the jury that a colleague asking for the results of a case that was in court and this information being provided was so commonplace that it could never have caused our client to become suspicious about what Munir Patel was doing.

Our client was found not guilty, and went on to continue her studies and career.

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