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Hart v Hart: what led the court to order the ultimate sanction?

Date:23 MAR 2018
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Anyone reading that John Hart an 83-year-old man with prostate cancer had been sent to prison by a High Court judge might naturally raise an eye-brow in surprise. However HHJ Wildblood QC did just that following judgments at [2018] EWHC 548 (Fam) [2018] EWHC 549 (Fam) and dated 23 February and 18 March 2018 respectively. These decisions are the latest in the long-running saga in the Hart v Hart divorce which has now been ongoing in various guises for some six and a half years. 

In 2015 Karen Hart was awarded a sum of £3.5m out of assets totalling £9.4m following her 19 year marriage to Mr Hart a man that HHJ Wildblood at first instance found to have substantial pre-marital wealth. Mrs Hart obtained permission to appeal the award to the Court of Appeal but was ultimately unsuccessful when in 2017 the three-judge panel rejected the two grounds upon which her appeal was launched. A significant element of the award that Mrs Hart was to receive was the shareholding in a company that had been operated by Mr Hart. Mr Hart was not only...

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