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Committal for Contempt of Court in Open Court at Croydon: Baldwin

Case Number: F00WT821

In the County Court sitting at Croydon

29 May 2020

Before:

District Judge Keating

Between:

London Borough of Wandsworth

-v-

Philip Baldwin


Judgment and Order

29 May 2020

Ms Park, solicitor, appeared on behalf of the Claimant. The Defendant appeared in person.

The Defendant was not represented. He was reminded by the Court of his right to silence and his right to obtain legal representation. The Claimant relied on witness statements from PC Derman and a Housing Officer, Lisa Pennett. It asserted that the Defendant had breached the order of the Court dated 12 June 2019 by playing loud music as set out in the statement of PC Derman. It alleged that there had been other incidents which justified a 12 month extension to the order, as set out in the statement of Ms Pennett. The Claimant left the question of punishment, if breach of the order on 19 May was established, to the discretion of the Court. The Claimant sought a contribution of £300 towards its costs.

The Defendant admitted that he had breached the order on 19 May as alleged. He did not oppose the extension of the order of 12 June 2019. He agreed that he should be ordered to pay £300 towards the Claimants costs, but asked to pay by instalments.

He apologised for breaching the order. He said that he had disconnected all his music playing equipment, to prevent any future breach. He had a degree of hearing loss, having been a DJ for 35 years. He was accompanied to Court by a friend, who offered herself as a character witness.

The Court found the breach proved, and held the Defendant in contempt of Court. Given his previous good character, contrition and his acceptance of the extension of the underlying order, the Court determined that he should be sent to prison for 2 weeks, but that would be suspended for 12 months. The underlying order would be extended as asked and the Defendant ordered to pay £300 towards the costs of the Claimant, to be paid by instalments.

Order

  1. The order made on 12.6.19 be extended so that it remains in force in the same terms until 11.59 11 June 2021;
  2. The Defendant be held in contempt of Court on his admission that he breached the order of the Court of 12 June 2019 by playing loud music audible outside his premises on 19 May 2020;
  3. The Defendant be committed to prison for 2 weeks, such term being suspended until 28 May 2020 on condition that he complies with the order dated 12 June 2019 ;
  4. The Defendant do pay £300 towards the costs of the Claimant, by instalments of £10 per month, the first such payment to be made by 5 June 2020.

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