Think twice before trying to bribe your professor for a grade.
A failing graduate student from the University of Bath is being jailed for 12 months after a pellet pistol fell out his jacket while he was trying to bribe his professor.
The student, Yang Li, had received a failing grade on his dissertation essay. He received a 37% when he needed to score at least a 40% in order to pass. Professor Andrew Graves told Li that he could rewrite the 12,000 word essay and submit it again for re-evaluation.
Li had other ideas in mind.
Li allegedly said “I am a businessman” and slapped £5,000 (about $7,600) down on the table. "You can keep the money if you give me a pass mark and I won't bother you again," Li said.
Professor Graves denied Li’s offer and asked him to leave. Then, as Li grabbed the money off the table, a pellet pistol loaded with 6 pellets fell out of his jacket. Graves reported the event to law enforcement.
Presiding judge Michael Longman said Li’s entire attempt at bribery was shameful and that his pistol caused great fear for his professor.
“You attempted to persuade a university professor to behave in such a way that if it had been successful you would have undermined the integrity of the universities in the UK and the legitimacy of degrees from universities here, the University of Bath in particular,” Longman said.
“Your bid to achieve a pass mark by offering what was a bribe to your professor was ill-conceived to the point of being a spectacular mistake and one which was doomed to fail from the start."
Li, who was studying for a master’s degree in innovation and technology management, plead guilty to charges of bribery and possession of an imitation firearm. His attorney, Blake James, said Li is used to carrying large amounts of cash and that he only had the pistol on him because he did not want to leave it in his car.
“He was not thinking straight,” James said. “He made an impulsive decision to use the money he had on him, which was a ridiculous gesture and ill-thought through,” he added.
Since his student visa is now expired, Li plans to return to China with his wife, also a student at the University of Bath, after his release. Li was seen sobbing in the courtroom as his sentence was issued.