A COUPLE who had been accused of blackmail had the charge against them dropped after the wife admitted witness intimidation.

Joleen Phelps, 39, and her husband Philip, 49, had been said to have made demands with menaces from a man in January. .

But after she admitted two counts of intimidating a witness prosecutors said they would not seek a trial on the blackmail charge.

She admitted that she bought a phone from a supermarket knowing it would be used to contact the victim when she appeared at Swindon Crown Court.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said that after very careful consideration they had decided to accept her basis of plea.

"She accepts she purchased a mobile phone from Asda on January 22 and gave it to a third party, knowing it would be used in the commission of offences in counts two and three," he said.

When the judge asked what he meant by 'third party' he replied "There are other members of the family: there is a grown-up son".

Joleen Phelps, of Brinkworth Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, pleaded guilty to two counts of witness intimidation.

Nicholas Clough, defending, asked for the case to be adjourned so that the probation service can compile a pre-sentence report.

Judge Robert Pawson put the case off to August 4 and released her on conditional bail.

He said "I am directing that there is a pre-sentence report. You should not assume from that that there will not necessarily be a custodial sentence. All options are open."

Philip Phelps, of the same address, appeared in court in a wheelchair to hear the three charges against him would be dropped after his wife pleaded guilty.

It is believed that no-one else has been charged in connection with the alleged offences.