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Contractor Jailed for Attempting to Bribe Council Official

British public officials are renowned for their honesty – and that reputation was borne out by one case in which a local authority official went straight to the police after a contractor offered him a cash-filled envelope. The man was subsequently jailed for offering the bribe.

The businessman ran a company that had a substantial contract with the council to provide transport for schoolchildren, the vulnerable and the elderly. He was concerned that the contract might be lost after numerous complaints were made concerning the company’s performance.

A friend of the businessman, acting on his behalf, met with the official and tried to pass him an envelope containing £500. The latter was informed that, if the contract was left undisturbed, he would receive sums of up to £3,000 each month. However, the official swiftly went to the police and the businessman was subsequently convicted, receiving a three-year prison sentence.

In challenging his punishment before the Court of Appeal, his lawyers argued that the bribery attempt was ill-advised and relatively unsophisticated. They also pointed to his role as sole carer for his two young daughters. In the circumstances, the Court reduced his sentence to 27 months.