A DUDLEY father-of-two who tried to bribe a man not to give evidence in a trial has been locked up for 15 months.

Mohammed Mahroof maintained he had been in fear of violence when he offered the witness £5,000 not to give evidence against another man to a jury.

He described the other man as "violent" and added: "He was not somebody to mess about. He told me to make the offer to the man to get him not to go to court.

The former snooker club manager went on: "I should not have approached him but I did. I only did it because I was scared."

But the claims by Mahroof, of Brooke Street, Dudley, were dismissed by Judge Barry Berlin at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

He told Mahroof, who admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice: "It was serious offending and only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate."

The court was told Mahroof offered the bribe at a meeting outside the Village Hotel in Dudley the night before the witness was due to give evidence to the jury.

The meeting between the pair came after the witness had been contacted via Facebook by the man, whose previous criminal convictions included witness intimidation.

The witness told the court he had known the other man for some time and the man had suggested to him there was a way he could make some money from an ongoing case.

He said he then received a second message via Facebook from Mahroof and he asked to see him for talks that were secretly recorded.

Mahroof was then heard to make the £5,000 bribe during which he explained he was acting as a middle man to help the man who was on trial.

He had been accused of wounding with intent during a nightclub fight over an unpaid £150 loan but in the end he changed his plea to guilty and he was put behind bars for three years.