Spotlight
Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Queer(y)ing consummation: an empirical reflection on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 and the role of consummation
Alexander Maine, Lecturer in Law, Leicester Law School, University of LeicesterKeywords: Consummation – adultery – marriage – empirical research – LGBTQConsummation and...
A v A (Return Without Taking Parent) [2021] EWHC 1439 (Fam)
(Family Division, MacDonald J, 18 May 2021)Abduction – Application for return order under Hague Convention 1980 - Art 13(b) defence – Whether mother’s allegations against the father...
Domestic Abuse Toolkit for Employers
The Insurance Charities have released an update to the Domestic Abuse Toolkit for Employers.Employers have a duty of care and a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work...
Two-week rapid consultation launched on remote, hybrid and in-person family hearings
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has announced the launch of a two-week rapid consultation on remote, hybrid and in-person hearings in the family justice system and the...
Pension sharing orders: Finch v Baker
The Court of Appeal judgment in Finch v Baker [2021] EWCA Civ 72 was released on 28 January 2021. The judgment provides some useful guidance on not being able to get what are essentially...
View all articles
Authors

Millionaire receives jail sentence for contempt of court over divorce settlement

Sep 29, 2018, 22:16 PM
Family Law, contempt of court, divorce, jail, proceedings, family court, court orders, financial orders, Tony Roe, Jo Carr-West
Millionaire property developer John Ralph Hart has been given a 14-month jail sentence for contempt of court after failing to comply with court orders following his divorce.
Slug : millionaire-receives-jail-sentence-for-contempt-of-court-over-divorce-settlement
Meta Title : Millionaire receives jail sentence for contempt of court over divorce settlement
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : Yes
Prioritise In Trending Articles : Yes
Date : Mar 16, 2018, 11:07 AM
Article ID : 116410

Millionaire property developer John Ralph Hart has been given a 14-month jail sentence for contempt of court after failing to comply with court orders following his divorce.

In 2015 Karen Hart was awarded a £3.5m share of the couple’s £9.4m estate. Mr Hart was ordered to transfer shares in his property company to his ex-wife with the result that she would become the owner. His subsequent behaviour, which included delaying the transfer and stripping out the management records of the company, led His Honour Judge Wildblood QC to observe in his sentencing remarks that Mr Hart had ‘done his utmost to frustrate her ability to run [the company] efficiently and effectively’.

The judge noted the ‘profound’ effect that Mr Hart’s actions had had on his ex-wife, causing ‘deliberate financial and emotional harm’.

Concluding his remarks, HHJ Wildblood QC also highlighted the unnecessarily protracted nature of the litigation surrounding the case, stating:

‘This case has placed an immense burden on limited public funds, a burden that will continue now as a result of your incarceration.’

Tony Roe, principal of Berkshire-based Tony Roe Solicitors, said:

‘HHJ Wildblood QC made it clear that Mr Hart was a man who had received repeated warnings that he must comply with court orders and chose, repeatedly, not to do so. The “extremely serious” contempt proven is astonishing in its extent and was found to have seriously prejudiced Mrs Hart, whom the judge describes as Mr Hart’s victim.

The judge points out that, even after eight days of this committal hearing, in addition to the catalogue of other proven contempt, Mr Hart had still chosen not to provide important documentation he was ordered to supply.

The detailed sentencing remarks, apparently released on the very day made, are particularly useful for family law practitioners to read. They demonstrate what a careful balancing exercise the judge has carried out, taking account mitigating factors for the 83-year-old Mr Hart, suffering from ill health, who has contributed to society.

They also demonstrate an approach to sentencing which involves both a punitive and a coercive term, a total 14 months running concurrently.’

Jo Carr-West, partner at Hunters Solicitors, said:

‘The publicity surrounding this judgment will give clients confidence that, once an order is made, the court will uphold it and punish those who deliberately avoid paying.

Clients always ask "but what if he doesn't pay?". Battles to enforce an order can be long, frustrating and extremely expensive with costs having to be met up front by the party trying to get the money owed to them.’

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
news_3
Authors
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Load more comments
Comment by from