Committal for Contempt of Court: Swindon Borough Council -v- Gordon
County CourtCommittal for Contempt of Court
Claim Number: J00SN478
In the County Court at Swindon
20 October 2022
District Judge Hatvany
Swindon Borough Council
- On 17 October 2022 this Court made an Injunction Order (‘the order’) under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (‘the Act’) against the Defendant. The Defendant attended the hearing and the order was served on him on 20 October 2022.
- The order contained a number of provisions designed to prevent the Defendant from engaging in activities associated with the use of motor vehicles within the Borough of Swindon.
- On 21 October 2022 the Defendant was arrested for three breaches of the order and appeared before the Court on 22 October 2022 whereby he was remanded on bail to attend the next hearing on 25 October 2022.
- On 25 October 2022 the Defendant admitted the three breaches put to him.
- The Court heard from the Claimant, represented by Mr Bigwood, on the matter of sentence. In summary, the Claimant submitted that:
a. Whilst the sentencing guidelines in relation to ASBO’s could form the starting point for any sentence there is, as set out in Willoughby v Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council  EWCA CIV 699 there is, in relation to further breaches of an order, scope to deviate from the guidelines.
b. Applying the sentencing guidelines the breach resulted in an outcome of:
i. Level B Culpability – As a result of the breaches being deliberate given the short period between the making of the order and the breaches;
ii. Category 3 Harm – As it could not be shown that the breaches had necessarily caused harm to any persons.
- There are 3 main considerations when sentencing a defendant:
a. The first is punishment for breach of an order of the court;
b. The second is to secure future compliance with the court’s orders if possible;
c. The third is rehabilitation.
- The Defendant expressed remorse for his actions and explained that his motor vehicle was now declared off road (SORN) and that the time spent in custody had made him realise the seriousness of the matter.
- The Court determined that the correct starting point was a custodial sentence of 15 days.
- The Defendant was then entitled to:
a. A reduction by a third for admitting the breaches at the earliest opportunity; and
b. A further reduction of 2 days so as to recognise the day he had spent in custody.
- The Court therefore determined that the correct sentence was one of 8 days in custody.
- Having considered the submissions made by the Defendant as to his remorse and willingness to comply with the order in the future, and noting that these breaches were the first breaches of the order and took place over a relatively short period on the evening of 21 October, the Court determined that the sentence should be suspended. With such suspension to last until the expiry of the order 17 October 2024) with the condition that the Defendant complies with the order.