Balli, Re Contempt of Court Act 1981 (No. 2): ChD 15 Jul 2011

The defendant litigant had been found guilty of contempt in the face of court and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. The contemnor now sought to purge his contempt.
Held: The sentence had been imposed as punishment and not to seek to enforce compliance with the order. As a result of his behaviour have had been struck from the roll of solicitors, and his remorse appeared genuine. The sentence had been neither excessive or inappropriate, and it would normally be wrong to reduce it. However the sentence so far served, whatever its impact on him was insufficient to mark the gravity of the contempt. The applicant should serve a further two weeks in prison, and then be released, and the sentence commuted accordingly.
Simon Barker QC HHJ said: The phrase ‘in the face of the court’ is not to be construed literally as meaning in court during a hearing, or even as necessarily being confined to conduct within the precincts of the court. However, there must be a direct and cogent connection with proceedings ongoing before a court .

Simon Barker QC HHJ
[2011] EWHC 1865 (Ch)
Contempt of Court Act 1981
England and Wales
CitedRe W (B) (An Infant) CA 1969
Where part of a sentence for contempt was suspended, and the defendant failed to meet the condition required for continued suspension, the court was not under an obligation to make the suspended part operative. . .
Sentence imposedBalli (Also Known As Ravinder Singh), Re Contempt of Court ChD 1-Jul-2011
Mr Ballie, a former solicitor, was found guity of contempt in the face of the court and sentenced to six months imprisonment. It was said that he had continued to call himself a solicitor and had so practised after he had been struck from the Roll . .
CitedHarris v Harris; Harris v Attorney General FD 21-May-2001
The applicant had been committed for ten months for contempt, being in breach of family court injunctions. He applied to be released after two months on the basis that the unserved balance of the sentence be suspended. The court held that it had the . .
CitedLightfoot v Lightfoot CA 1989
In matrimonial proceedings, Mr L had defied a court order to pay redundancy and other money due to him into a solicitors’ joint account upon receipt, pending further order. Mr L received andpound;30,000, paid all the money into his own account, . .
CitedNield and Another v Loveday and Another Admn 13-Jul-2011
The court considered the institution of proceedings for contempt of court based upon an allegation that a document filed in court proceedings and supported by a statement of truth was false. In this case the defendant argued that the first claimant . .
CitedDelaney v Delaney CA 2-Nov-1995
A County Court judge has no power to imprison a contemnor pending a sentence decision. Time spent in custody awaiting trial for contempt would not automatically be set off against the final sentence. Proceedings for contempt can be restored after . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court

Updated: 15 January 2022; Ref: scu.442091