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‘Sheriff of Soho’ corrupt police officer guilty of taking bribes of call girls and holidays from West End clubs

A corrupt police officer dubbed ‘the Sheriff of Soho’ has been found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for favourable treatment from West End clubs.

Former Sergeant Frank Partridge, 50, who worked as a licensing officer in Westminster in central London, was convicted of bribery following a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Jurors found he accepted a £7,000 luxury family holiday to Morocco, tickets to exclusive events and renovation of his own home while working in the Westminster Licensing Unit between 2013 and 2015. He also accepted escort services.

Partridge was cleared of a further count of bribery and admitted others at an earlier stage.

His job was to consult with Westminster Council about licensing applications and supervise licensed premises to make sure they were following the rules.

But instead he formed an “unprofessional and inappropriately close” relationship with people linked to West End nightclubs and security firms, including Cirque le Soir nightclub owner Ryan Bishti.

Bishti, 43, Anna Ginandes, 46, Terry Neil, 56, and a man who cannot be named for legal reasons were found guilty of one count each of bribery.

Neil and Ginandes were also found not guilty of one count of bribery each.

Soraya Henderson and Eamonn Mulholland were cleared of all wrongdoing. All guilty verdicts were unanimous.

Commander James Harman of the Met said: ”This has been a complex and long-running investigation that began in 2013 and has involved the painstaking examination of thousands of files on 178 digital devices plus huge volumes of paper records to piece the case together. I commend the diligent work of colleagues in our Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command.”

Ryan Bishti. Picture: Met Police
Anna Ginandes. Picture: Met Police
Neil Terry. Picture: Met Police

Commander Harman added: “But he developed unprofessional and inappropriately close relationships with people who owned, ran or were linked to those premises as well as with firms providing security to the venues.”

He said that the Met runs licensing units differently now to when Partridge was operating.

“Once we identified Partridge’s activities, we acted quickly to introduce measures to ensure no one officer can abuse their position of power in the way he did,” Commander Harman said.

“This case is a clear example of the robust approach we take to corruption. Where a crime has been committed we will investigate and bring it before the courts, dealing not just with our own, but also with those who seek to influence and corrupt our officers and staff.”

Partridge will be sentenced on Tuesday, while his co-defendants who were convicted will be sentenced on September 21.

(Source: LBC)


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