Rejected £5k witness bribe lands father in jail
A former snooker club manager who offered a witness in a court case £5,000 not to give evidence has been jailed for 15 months.
Mohammed Mahroof, attempted to bribe Gary Redmond when the pair met by arrangement outside the Village Hotel in Castlegate Drive, Dudley the night before he was due to appear in court.
The meeting took place on May 14 last year hours after Mr Redmond was contacted via Facebook by Russell Bishop whose 24 previous convictions involving 67 offences included witness intimidation, a judge heard.
Mr Redmond explained at Wolverhampton Crown 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.”
Mr Redmond received a second Facebook message the same day, this time from Mahroof, who had managed a snooker club in Lye used by both him and Bishop, and arranged to see him that night for talks which he secretly recorded.
Mahroof, a 46-year-old father of two, had also been contacted by Bishop and told the court: “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.”
The defendant was recorded making the offer during the meeting in which he explained he was a “middle man” trying to help “J,” who was James Webley, who was on trial.
He was accused of wounding Mr Redmond with intent during a nightclub brawl in March 2017 over an unpaid £150 loan in which the victim’s right arm was broken and elbow dislocated.
Mr Redmond, who alerted police to the attempted bribe, arrived at court the following day with the intention of giving evidence until Webley changed his plea to guilty and was jailed for three years, it was said.
Mahroof, of Brooke Street, Dudley, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice but his claim he only did it because he was frightened of Bishop was dismissed by Judge Barry Berlin who said it was four months after the man died when he was interviewed by police and made no mention of pressure being put on him.
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