'Sheriff of Soho': Corrupt police officer jailed for seven and a half years after taking bribes from West End clubs

18 July 2023, 19:01 | Updated: 18 July 2023, 19:15

The former sergeant has been jailed for seven and a half years.
The former sergeant has been jailed for seven and a half years. Picture: Alamy/Met Police

By Jenny Medlicott

A corrupt police officer dubbed 'the Sheriff of Soho' has been jailed for seven and a half years after he was found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for favourable treatment from West End clubs.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Former Sergeant Frank Partridge, 50, who worked as a licensing officer in Westminster in central London has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after being convicted on four counts of bribery.

The corrupt officer was found guilty on four counts and cleared of one further country of bribery on July 12 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 worth £8,000 while working in the Westminster Licensing Unit between 2013 and 2015. He also accepted escort services.

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.

Prosecutor Philip Evans KC said at the beginning of the trial: “Those relationships directly benefitted Frank Partridge financially and the individuals because they had someone with Frank Partridge's powers in their pocket.”

Frank Partridge has been jailed for seven and a half years.
Frank Partridge has been jailed for seven and a half years. Picture: Alamy

He also said there was “no sensible” explanation for his behaviour.

The former officer told court he now lives in Spain, and that he believed he his work was “always impartial”.

Defending Partridge, Patrick Gibbs KC suggested defendant was “bedazzled by the glitz and glamour of this lifestyle.”

Read more: TOWIE star Lauren Goodger's ex denies assaulting her the day after they buried their daughter

Read more: Ukrainian refugee who shacked up with Brit dad arrives in court 'after biting police officer and going on the run'

Frank Partridge was sentenced on Tuesday.
Frank Partridge was sentenced on Tuesday. Picture: Met Police

Addressing the six and a half year gap between his arrest and charge, Mr Gibbs said: “You are sentencing today a man who isn't the same man who committed the offences of which the jury convicted him, partly a function of delay and partly a function of reform and realisation on his part.”

He also noted that Partridge would lose his police pension, aside from his own contributions, saying that: “Before he was deployed to the Licensing Unit there's reason to suppose that he was a very good police officer. He's a lifetime officer joining at 17, knowing nothing else.”

Mr Gibbs continued: “Some of the strengths that made him a good officer in his previous deployments probably contributed to the parts of his licensing job that he did well but he also did parts of his licensing work extremely badly and criminally so.

"Licensing was more or less disastrous for him in facilitating his drinking and it contributed to the worsening of his drinking, including at lunchtime while on duty.

"He's not a wicked man, he didn't go to licensing as a wicked man hoping to be corrupted, looking to be corrupted but he was a greedy, perhaps, man, a weak man who too readily accepted that which he was offered."

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

Judge Christopher Hehir said: "The story behind these verdicts is a troubling, disappointing and also in parts a sleazy one.

“While there is some evidence of you performing your duties efficiently and effectively, that sadly pales into insignificance when set against the other evidence in the trial, which revealed a rapid descent into wholesale corruption, dishonesty and complete disregard of your obligations as a police officer.”

Partridge was sentenced to seven and a half years but will serve half before he is released on licence.

Bishti, 43, Anna Ginandes, 46, Neil Terry, 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.

His co-defendants will be sentenced on September 21.