Former Met Police sergeant and celebrity club boss in court to face bribery and corruption charges
A MAJOR bribery and corruption trial involving the boss of a Soho celebrity nightclub, two security firms and an ex-Met Police sergeant has started.
Eight people appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court to face charges after an investigation by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards Anti-Corruption Command.
They included Frank Partridge, 48, of Wing, Buckinghamshire, an ex-sergeant in the Westminster police licensing unit, and entrepreneur Ryan Bishti, 41, from south Kensington, who launched the Cirque le Soir club in Soho in 2009 and owns a number of other London clubs, who were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery between February 2013 and June 2015 after the long-running probe.
Cirque le Soir soon became a celebrity hotspot whose customers have included Cara Delevingne, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan and Princess Eugene
Investigators looked into alleged inappropriate relationships between police and people running local entertainment and security businesses.
Others charged who joined the hearing via video link on Tuesday (December 21) included Bishti's mother Pamela Bishti, 66, of Croydon, and Terry Neil, 55, of Slough, the boss of security firm TSS, who were also accused of conspiracy to commit bribery between the same dates.
TSS supplied door staff to Soho clubs.
Neil's ex-wife Soraya Henderson, 55, of Flackwell Heath, High Wycombe, and Eamonn Mulholland, 54, of Islington, appeared in the dock to face the same charges.
Hassan Serdoud, 54, and Anna Ginandes, 44, both of Camden, face the same conspiracy charge/
All eight defendants indicated they would plead not guilty to the charges.
Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring remanded them all on unconditional bail ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing at Southwark Crown Court next year.
Serdoud, who runs Profile Protection, which says it is "London's leading security service" also indicated he will plead not guilty to a second charge of bribery between 1 January 2012 and 25 June 2015, which prosecutor Deborah Jeffries said was a "completely separate matter."