A company, RESL Ltd, and its director have been acquitted of charges of bribery and failing to prevent bribery after the proceedings were terminated due to lack of evidence. This is only the third prosecution for the section 7 failure to prevent offence, and the first acquittal.
The company and its director were accused of bribing a Purchasing and Supply Chain Manager at a customer, in exchange for him showing favour in the commissioning of parts and supplies. The company also faced a charge under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, for failing to prevent bribery. The defendants appeared for trial at Southwark Crown Court in March 2019. Following representations by the Defence, the case was adjourned in order that further material could be obtained by the prosecution and considered for disclosure. Thereafter, in the light of additional submissions from the defence, the CPS undertook a review of the case and concluded that it did not pass the evidential stage of the Code test. Accordingly, on 19 December 2019, not guilty verdicts were entered at Southwark Crown Court to each of the counts faced by these two defendants.