A COUPLE who tried to "bribe" an alleged burg-lary victim not to give evidence in court have been spared immediate jail.

Ex-soldier Joanne Last, 40, her partner, divorced dad Andrew McDevitt, 47, and another man had phoned Jacqueline Royales, then Last's friend, and were said to have offered her cash.

In one call, Miss Royales got an offer of being "paid off" and was told she would get enough money to finance her new car and possibly a holiday.

She recorded a call from the trio and police were called in, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told how Miss Royales did give evidence against an alleged raider who was later cleared of the allegation.

The defendants, both of good character, were told by Judge Beverley Lunt it was "astonishing" and a tragedy to see them in the dock.

Judge Lunt said what they had tried to do struck at the very heart of the legal system system.

Last, of White Street, Rosegrove, and McDevitt, of Acre Street, both Burnley, had earlier admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

They were given 16 weeks in custody, suspended for a year.

Last was told to do 180 hours of unpaid work and McDevitt was given a six months supervision order.

Mark Stuart, defending, said Last had served 14 years in the Army and had an exemplary record.

Mr Stuart said McDevitt joined in after taking drink and medication and was "not suddenly going to become a big criminal at 47."