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Richard Kingston convicted and sentenced for destroying bribery and corruption evidence

21 December, 2016 | News Releases

An individual charged in connection with an ongoing SFO bribery and corruption investigation was found guilty by a jury today of two destruction of evidence offences, contrary to section 2(16) of the Criminal Justice Act 1987.

Richard Kingston, 54, from South Wales, was convicted of concealing, destroying or otherwise disposing of two mobile telephones, knowing or suspecting that the data stored on those phones would be relevant to the SFO’s inquiries.

He was sentenced the same day to 12 months imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently.

Mr Kingston was first arrested in December 2014 in respect of an SFO investigation into suspected bribes paid by the company Sweett Group PLC, a construction and professional services company, for which he had previously worked as a Managing Director in the Middle East.

Mr Kingston was arrested again in June 2015 in respect of a separate SFO investigation which also remains ongoing.

Tom Payne, representing the SFO in court, told the jury that despite knowing of the SFO’s investigation, Mr Kingston destroyed mobile phones containing emails, text and Whatsapp messages pertinent to the SFO investigation.

General Counsel Alun Milford said:
“Richard Kingston actively took steps to frustrate our inquiries into his involvement, and that of others, in the suspected payment of bribes. We will not hesitate to pursue those who may set out similarly to disrupt our investigations.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. Charges against Richard Kingston were announced in October 2015.
  2. Sweett Group PLC was sentenced in February this year for Bribery Act offences and ordered to pay £2.25 million following a guilty plea in December 2015. For more information on this case please see news release here.
  3. The SFO would particularly like to thank the South Wales Police and the Metropolitan Police for their assistance with this investigation.

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