"there was a way to make money from the case"
Former snooker club manager Mohammed Mahroof, aged 46, of Dudley, was jailed for 15 months after he attempted to bribe a witness involved in a wounding case.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he tried to give Gary Redmond £5,000 in an attempt to stop him giving evidence.
Mahroof and Mr Redmond met by arrangement on May 14, 2018, outside the Village Hotel in Castlegate Drive, Dudley. He was due to appear in court the next day.
Hours earlier, Mr Redmond was contacted on Facebook by Russell Bishop who had 24 previous convictions involving 67 offences. Some of the offences included witness intimidation.
Bishop had suggested that there was “a way to make money” from an ongoing case.
Mr Redmond told the court: “I had known Russ on a social basis for around five years but had not seen him for some time when he sent a message asking me to get in touch.
“I called and he was very vague, suggesting there was a way to make money from the case that was going on.
“He did not offer me anything but asked me to call him later but I didn’t and never saw him again because he died ten days later.”
On the same day, the witness received a Facebook message from Mahroof who arranged to meet him that night. Mr Redmond secretly recorded the conversation.
Mahroof had managed a snooker club in Lye, Dudley, which had been used by Bishop and Mr Redmond.
The former snooker club manager was heard offering Mr Redmond £5,000 during the meeting.
He explained that he was a “middle man” trying to help James Webley, who was on trial.
Webley was accused of wounding Mr Redmond with intent during a fight at a nightclub in March 2017 over an unpaid £150 loan.
The attack left Mr Redmond with a dislocated elbow and a broken arm.
Mr Redmond alerted the police about the attempted bribe and Mahroof was arrested.
The witness went to court and intended to give evidence against Webley, however, the defendant changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Mahroof told the court he had also been contacted by Bishop and claimed he tried to bribe Mr Redmond because he was intimidated by Bishop. He said:
“He was a violent man, not somebody to mess about.
“He told me to offer Redmond £5,000 not to go to court the next day. I should not have approached him but I did. I was scared.”
However, Judge Barry Berlin dismissed his claims and pointed out that Mahroof was interviewed by the police four months after Bishop died.
He also said that Mahroof made no mention of pressure being put on him.
Mahroof pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Berlin told the father-of-two: “It was serious offending and only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate.”
Mohammed Mahroof was sentenced to 15 months in prison.