A MAN and a woman who intimidated a murder trial witness to try to prevent their friend from being convicted of the killing have been jailed for a total of five-and-a-half years.
Edward Cooper, aged 21, and Nina Lawton, 25, were locked up at Sheffield Crown Court for perverting the course of justice after they plotted with Daniel Parr to intimidate Corrie Jowitt and stop her giving evidence in a murder trial.
Parr went on trial at Sheffield Crown Court for killing Ecclesfield Jamie Stuart, 19, in January 2012 but the jury failed to reach a verdict.
A retrial was ordered for May 2012 and Parr was remanded in custody.
During his time behind bars, Parr got pals to smash windows at Miss Jowitt’s home in Parson Cross.
She was also sent a threatening letter which read ‘snitches get stitches’.
During phone conversations with Lawton, Parr was heard calling Jowitt a ‘proper little grassing rat’ and threatening to harm her if he ever got out of prison.
Shortly after Parr stabbed Mr Stuart he turned up at Miss Jowitt’s home and showed her the knife he’d used to stab Mr Stuart four times.
In the first trial Miss Jowitt had told the jury Parr had showed ‘no emotion’ and appeared ‘matter of fact’ about the killing.
Peter Moulson, prosecuting, said Parr and his friends conspired to prevent Miss Jowitt giving ‘telling and crucial evidence’ against him.
Cooper, of Deer Park View, Stannington, admitted throwing a stone through Miss Jowitt’s window to intimidate her. He was caught after he rang Parr and boasted about the attack - not knowing calls were being recorded.
He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was jailed for three years.
Lawton, of Wordsworth Avenue, Parson Cross, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and jailed for two-and-a-half years.
She told Parr on the phone: “Without saying too much, you wanted something done and it got dealt with.”
Miss Jowitt was so scared she failed to turn up at court to give evidence in Parr’s trial earlier this month. He was convicted and jailed for life with a minimum of 23 years.
James Faulkner, 23, of South Road, High Green and Lewis Barker, 21, of Northfield Road, Southey Green, were both acquitted of perverting the course of justice.
Det Insp Kevin Brown said: “It is important witnesses come forward and assist the police and they in return can expect the full support and protection of the criminal justice system.”