A CPS press release reports that the first successful prosecution and conviction under the Bribery Act 2010 has taken place.

A former magistrates’ court clerk took a bribe of £500 in exchange for turning a blind eye to a road traffic offfence.

Under section 11(1), an individual guilty of an offence under section 2 is liable on conviction on indictment to a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine or both. Sentencing will occur on 11 November.

The Act came into force on 1 July 2011 with the intention of modernising and simplifying the law on bribery, to allow prosecutors and the courts to deal with it more effectively.

It has to be said this reads like a fairly straighforward case, not a grey area anyone would have concerns about.  The real issues with the Bribery Act 2010 so far as most business people are concerned are in the area corporate hospitality and gifts.   Nonetheless, this reported case is a timely reminder that the act is up and running.

Quentin Bargate

Bargate Murray

October 2011