A couple’s evening out at a cinema came to a terrifying end when two men threatened them with knives.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Craig Berry, 36, and his pal Paul Jones, 34, subjected the young couple to the frightening ordeal simply because they were annoyed they had been asked to be less noisy during the film.

Both defendants admitted affray, perverting the course of justice, and possessing knives in a public place.

Antony Longworth, prosecuting, said the couple had gone to the cinema at Dunmail Park, Workington, to watch Fast and Furious.

Sitting near the back of the cinema, the man turned round and politely asked the men behind them to keep the noise down.

“They did quieten down a bit but continued to talk,” said Mr Longworth. “After another half hour, the wife noticed her chair was being kicked and knocked, so she said: ‘Can you keep your feet off my chair?'.”

That offended Berry and Jones, said the prosecutor. Realising their polite requests were getting little response, the couple said nothing more.

After the film ended, the couple deliberately hung back to avoid the defendants, but Jones went to the the nearby Asda store to buy kitchen knives.

The couple then heard Berry say they would attack them as they left the cinema. As they went to their car they heard Jones shout, two or three times: “You’re going to get stabbed up.”

Terrified, the couple rushed to their car and managed to get inside and lock the doors. “A second or so later their car door handles rattled and they saw Berry at the window, holding a knife and tapping on the window. The blade was three or four inches long.”

The man and his wife quickly drove off. Before getting too far away they took a photo of the defendants and then contacted police.

The prosecutor outlined how the defendants somehow got hold of the couple’s telephone number and called them, with Jones offering the man £1,000 if they agreed to drop the charges and Berry saying there would be "a few quid in it" if they did that.

Berry also made a direct approach to the man in a Workington street, trying to ingratiate himself to get the charges dropped.

Simeon Evans, for Berry, of Newlands Gardens, Workington, conceded it was an unpleasant offence but said there was no actual violence. He said the personal approach to the victim had been pathetic.

Brendan Burke, for Jones, of The Gavels, Great Clifton, said it was Berry who had persuaded his client to buy the knives, and Berry who persuaded him to speak on the phone to the victim.

“He can look forward to a stable life when he gets out,” said Mr Burke, saying Jones, a father-of-five, would return to his family home. He was jailed for eight months.

Berry also got eight months jail, to be served concurrently with a 10-year term given after a jury last week convicted him of 10 counts of sexual activity with a child.