Committal for Contempt of Court in open court in London: McDonagh

Queen's Bench DivisionCommittal for Contempt of Court

Case number: QB-2020-004209

In the High Court of Justice
Queen’s Bench Division


30 November 2021


His Honour Judge Lewis

Sitting as a Judge of the High Court

On the 30 November 2021 this court committed JOHN McDONAGH to prison.

An injunction granted by Mr Justice Foxton on 8 December 2021 included the following terms:

“1. The defendants are required by 4pm on 14 December 2021 to remove from the land any static caravans, mobile home and touring caravans.

  1. The defendants be prohibited (whether by themselves, their servants or agents) from:
  • Bringing a caravan, a mobile home, or any other structure intended for or capable of habitation onto the land.
  • Erecting on the land any structure of building capable of or intended to be put to residential use.
  • Carrying out any works including but not limited to the laying of hard standing on the land
  • Allowing any persons to take up occupation of the land”

The court found on 12 November 2021 that John McDonagh had breached that order as follows:

  • Between 11 May 2021 and 24 May 2021, in breach of paragraph 2(c) of the Injunction D9 caused or allowed: (i) further groundworks to be carried out to Plot 8; (ii) additional hardstanding was introduced; (iii) other materials previously on site were compressed.
  • Between 24 May 2021 and 3 June 2021 in breach of paragraph 2(a) of the Injunction, D9 caused or allowed four touring caravans to be brought onto Plot 8, together with a trailer and a portable toilet block
  • Between 24 May 2021 and 3 June 2021 in breach of paragraph 2(c) of the Injunction, D9 caused or allowed further groundworks to be carried out on Plot 8, namely additional hardcore and/or road scalpings were deposited and laid.
  • As at 3 June 2021, in continuing breach of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2(a) of the Injunction, D9 failed to remove all caravans from Plot 8 and/or had caused or allowed further caravans to be brought on to Plot 8.

And imposed the following sentences for those breaches:

  • Breach (a): 4 months
  • Breach (b): 2 months, consecutive
  • Breach (d): 1 month, concurrent to breach (b)
  • Breach (c): 2 months, consecutive
  • Total: 8 months

And in addition, the court activated the suspended sentence imposed by Mr Metzer QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) on 12 February 2021 of six months.

Accordingly, it was ordered that John McDonagh be committed for contempt to Her Majesty’s Prison at Pentonville for a total period of fourteen months or until lawfully discharged if sooner, and that a warrant of committal be issued forthwith.