Committal for Contempt of Court in Open Court at Royal Courts of Justice: Watson

Business ListCommittal for Contempt of Court

Claim no. HC-2015-001647

In the High Court of Justice
Business and Property Courts of England and Wales
Business List (ChD)

19 October 2020

Eric John Watson

Pursuant to paragraph 13 of Practice Direction: Committal for Contempt of Court – Open Court dated 26 March 2015

In relation to claim no. HC-2015-001647 on 19 October 2020 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London Lord Justice Nugee, sitting as a Judge of the High Court, sentenced Mr Eric John Watson to an immediate custodial sentence of 4 months for Contempt of Court.

The basis of the sentence was that Mr Watson had committed a breach of an Order made against him by Mr Justice Nugee dated 12 November 2018.

The relevant terms of that Order required Mr Watson, by 4 pm on 21 December 2018, to:

(i)  swear and serve upon Kea an affidavit providing, among other things, a full list and explanation of all Mr Watson’s interests held by his mother, Mrs Joan Pollock (Mr Watson’s interests to include interests or assets held by any person on the basis that Mr Watson in fact shared in the economic interest in such assets); and

(ii)  provide copies of bank statements for the account from which certain sums were transferred to Mr Watson’s bank account.

Mr Watson breached that Order by:

(i) not disclosing the existence of a bank account, called the Rainy Day account, held in the name of Mrs Pollock but which was held by her on the basis that the money in the Rainy Day account (derived from a transfer of NZ$3.5m to Mrs Pollock), or at least the vast bulk of it, should be made available to Mr Watson for his own purposes; and

(ii)  not providing copies of bank statements for the Rainy Day account.

The Court found such breach proved and a sentence of 4 months imprisonment was imposed on Mr Watson.