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Engineering firm hit by bribe conviction

THE owner of a Bristol civil engineering firm left court with a jail threat hanging over him last week for accepting more than 14,000 in bribes.

Edward Coady, 40, boss of Avon Valley Groundworks, was given a suspended 15 month jail term at Bristol Crown Court.

Civil engineer David Hardman, 43, who had given the backhanders received a similar sentence. Coady was also banned from being a company director for two years and Hardman was ordered to pay 6,000 compensation to Bristols city council.

The pair admitted conspiring between January 1989 and December 1991 to commit offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court was told that Coadys firm had been awarded a 300,000 contract for improvement works at the Port of Bristol. Hardman had been hired by the council as a consultant to find subcontractors for the scheme. The specification required that there had to be a number of tenders from different firms.

But the court was told that Coady had forged two tenders for the work from bogus firms, these being higher than the tender put in by his firm.

Hardman then awarded the contract to Coadys firm in return for the bribes.