Cricketer jailed for spot-fixing
The first county cricketer in England to be prosecuted for spot-fixing has been sentenced to four months in prison at the Old Bailey.
Former Essex player Mervyn Westfield, 23, was jailed for one count of accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs.
He will serve half the term in prison and a confiscation order was made for £6,000.
Passing sentence, Judge Anthony Morris told Westfield: "I am satisfied that you would have known from the outset that what was being offered was a corrupt payment and that you could and should have refused it.
"I am also satisfied that, if you had any concerns about the approaches being made to you, you had an opportunity to mention them to the team captain or management, or if you were nervous of doing so, at least to your friends within the team. You chose not to do so."
Westfield was paid £6,000 to bowl so that a specific number of runs would be chalked up in the first over of a match between Durham and Essex in September 2009. It was claimed that Westfield was "targeted" by former Essex team mate and Pakistan international Danish Kaneria, who set up the deal.
The payment came to light when another Essex player, Tony Palladino, went to Westfield's Chelmsford flat in September 2009, where the bowler showed him "the most money he had ever seen".
Westfield emptied a plastic bag of rolled-up £50 notes on to his bed, and said Kaneria had told him a "friend" would pay him to concede a certain number of runs. Kaneria was allegedly himself due to receive £4,000 as part of the Durham match deal.
Fast bowler Westfield pleaded guilty last month to one count of accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs. He has received an interim suspension order from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Kaneria, who first joined Essex in 2005, was arrested in connection with the case but later released without charge.