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Corrupt Barnet driving examiner jailed at Wood Green Crown Court
A driving examiner who took bribes in exchange for letting people pass their test was jailed for two-and-a-half years today.
Richard Cwierzona, who worked at the Barnet Practical Test Centre from September 2009, demanded cash from pupils taking their tests.
The 49-year-old, of Monks Road, Lincoln, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court after admitting three counts of corruptly soliciting a reward, fee or advantage while working as a driving examiner.
Cwierzona qualified as an examiner in January 2002 and then had various postings around London.
It was discovered that, while at Barnet, he was soliciting money from people who were taking their practical driving test and that he was suggesting that the funds would ensure they passed the test.
The sum demanded varied from £200 to £1,000 depending on Cwierzona’s assessment of the candidate’s means, regardless of the candidate’s driving ability.
If he believed the corrupt money would be forthcoming, Cwierzona would enter his name and mobile phone number on the back of the carbon copy DL25 Test Report, a copy of which is retained by the candidate, and tell them to call him to arrange to hand over the bribe.
Cwierzona’s phone, when examined, had numerous calls registered to numbers which matched candidates’ records.
If a candidate rejected his demand for a bribe, Cwierzona often pre-empted any complaint by reporting that the candidate had made the initial approach of a bribe.
The filed records of thirteen DL 25 Test Reports on candidates were found to have Cwierzona’s name and phone number hand written on them, an unnecessary action for any examiner to take.
When questioned as to why he was giving out his phone number, Cwierzona replied that he wanted to be “pally”.
Officer in the case, Dan Quigley, said: “This man's actions meant that the granting of a driving licence depended, not on the skill and safety of the driver - but rather on their willingness to pay Cwierzona a bribe.
“Cwierzona’s abuse of his public office meant that unsuitable drivers could be allowed to drive unsupervised to the danger of the public.
“He abused his position and the trust of the public.”