Committal for Contempt of Court: Gloucester City Homes Ltd -v- Appleby

County CourtCommittal for Contempt of Court

Case Number: K00GL106

In the County Court at Gloucester

26 April 2024

District Judge Tawn

Gloucester City Homes Ltd
Rebecca Appleby


District Judge Tawn:

  1. Firstly, before I say anything to you Rebecca, I would just like to say to you Mr Appleby, I consider Rebecca is very fortunate to have you here, and all the steps you are taking to help her have been very kindly advanced by Mr Young, and you are to be praised for the efforts you are making for your daughter.
  2. Rebecca, turning to you, I have heard everything that Mr Young has said, and I am incredibly sorry to hear everything Mr Young has said, but I also, as you know, have to take into account the impact of your behaviour on other people. I do not dispute the difficulties you are facing, and I note that with the help of your Dad you have tried to take steps to address them with what was CGL. I do not think any of us know what it is called these days.
  3. All I can do is implore you, with the help of your father and the support of your father and your GP, to make every possible effort you can to avoid drinking, and to address your anxiety. I realise how very difficult that may be, but that and/or hopefully moving seems to me the only way that this spiral of behaviour, and the impact it is having on other people, in particular Miss Glass and her daughter, is going to stop. The only other way it is going to stop is if I send you to prison, and I really do not want to do that.
  4. I have taken into account everything that Mr Young has said, and I have taken into account your admission of the breaches to District Judge Ashford and to me today. What I should say to you is that it is effectively by the skin of your teeth that you are not going to prison today, because I will suspend the sentence I am going to impose on you, but this is it. This is the last chance, because if you breach the order again, then the suspended sentence is almost certainly going to be activated and you will end up going to prison.
  5. I have considered the breaches. I have considered very carefully the mitigation that Mr Young has advanced on your behalf, very eloquently and kindly. I have considered the ongoing nature of the breaches, and the repetitive nature of the breaches. I have considered also the fact that a further four breaches have occurred only shortly after District Judge Ashford saw you before, and as I say, it is imperative that orders which are made by the Court are complied with, and so it has got to stop.
  6. I have considered the level of blameworthiness. I have considered the impact that these breaches have, in particular on Miss Glass and her daughter, and I am not going to repeat the contents of Miss Glass’s statement, because I am sure Mr Young will have told you what is in it, but your behaviour, as I am sure you know, has had a really unpleasant impact on her, and it is not right that that carries on. I do consider that these breaches are causing, and have caused, very serious harm and distress to Miss Glass.
  7. I also consider that they are issues which are of high culpability, because they have continued, they are very impactful on this woman and her daughter, and your behaviour is serious and continuous.
  8. The starting point for me in those circumstances would be six months in prison. That is a very long time, and I do not propose to order that. The range that I am told to consider is eight weeks to 18 months, and what I intend to do, and I am going to do, is this: for each of the three admitted breaches, 12 February, 17 February, 19 February this year, I am going to sentence you to a week in prison for each of those to run consecutively. Because these further four breaches occurred after you had that hearing with District Judge Ashford, each of the breaches on 24, 27 February, 26 March and 5 April, I am going to sentence you to two weeks to run consecutively.
  9. That is a total of 11 weeks in prison, which is a little under three months. Because however, of the further issues that I have heard of from Mr Young, and because the range for me is eight weeks to 18 months, because you are young, and I accept that you do not seem to be doing this with a deliberate attempt to upset Miss Glass and her daughter, what I am going to do is reduce the total amount to eight weeks in prison, but you have to understand that if you breach the injunction again, there is almost no prospect in my view of anything other than prison. I understand that the injunction was extended by District Judge Ashford on 9 April.

(proceedings continue)

  1. Because as I said this has got to stop, I am going to suspend that sentence until 8 September 2024, so if you breach this injunction again before 9 September, so up to 8 September 2024, in all likelihood you will go to prison for eight weeks. You really must be grateful to Mr Young today for the way he has presented your case, grateful to your father for all the efforts he is putting into this, and dare I say grateful to Miss Fennell because she has presented the case in a very even handed and fair way, but that is the order.
  2. You have got to comply also with the Injunction Order going forwards, so the sentence is 8 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended on the basis that you comply with the Injunction Order, and the sentence is suspended until 8 September 2024.