A Devizes man who tried to get his estranged wife to drop allegations of violence against him has been jailed for 16 months.

Clive Holloway, 49, wrote letters containing veiled threats after she had told police about a number of alleged assaults. Even thought it was decided not to prosecute Holloway for those matters, he was jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Holloway, who also uses the surname Hayward, had been accused of "assaulting, belittling and terrorising" his wife over a number of years.

After the police became involved the mother-of-three made a complaint to the police and spoken to by investigating officers.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Thursday: "While the defendant was released on bail by the police he then approached his wife."

Mr Welling said he met up with her outside Debenhams in Swindon in February, spoke to her on the phone and wrote "two long and rambling letters to her".

He said: "They make it clear under veiled threats that if she does not withdraw or does not prevent him from being convicted then there will be consequences for her by him saying things about her.

"It is plain from these letters it is a man exercising the same kind of alleged bullying behaviour as he has used, over many years in the family set up and the marriage."

Holloway, of Cromwell Road, Devizes, pleaded guilty to committing an act tending or intended to pervert the course of justice.

Chris Smyth, defending, said there had also been proceedings in the family court and he was now subject to a non-molestation order taken out by his wife.

He said the letters were "manipulative rather than overtly threatening", adding, "plainly the letters are trying to suggest to his former partner that she should try to withdraw any allegations that have been made."

Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "Your attempt to pervert the course of justice and your actions towards her were of course abusive, cowardly and bullying."