Committal for Contempt of Court: Sanctuary Housing Association -v- Cody White

County CourtCommittal for Contempt of Court

Case Number: J02LS092

In the Leeds County Court

5 March 2024

His Honour Judge Gosnell


Sanctuary Housing Association


Cody White



  1. It now falls to me to decide the penalty in relation to your most recent breach of the injunction order. As I mentioned to you only yesterday, the injunction granted initially to you by Deputy District Judge Barnes was extended by me on 4 October for a further year. You are prohibited from entering your mother’s flat at Flat 21, Brooklands Court, and yesterday I sentenced you for two breaches: one on 25 February and on 4 March. I was in doubt as to whether to impose a custodial sentence immediately or whether to suspend it, and thanks to strong mitigation put forward by Mr Smithson on your behalf, I was persuaded to suspend the sentence. However, I did have a fairly straightforward discussion with you at the time, in which I explained that I was giving you a chance. I was not sure if it was the right decision but that if there was any further breach of the injunction, I could not take the same view again.
  2. To my surprise, you breached the injunction again at 9.30pm yesterday evening, probably four or five hours after I last saw you. Your reason for attending your mother’s property is because she could not find her inhaler and could not get any help from anyone else. I have got to say that, although Mr Smithson submitted that to me honestly in terms of what he had been told, it is not something I accept as likely to be true. Also, even if it was true, it would not be a good reason to breach a court injunction, particularly when a judge has told you that very day that if you breach the injunction again there can only be one solution.
  3. In terms of the nature of the breach, I accept, as I did yesterday, that the appropriate matrix from a sentencing point of view is Culpability B and Category 3 Harm, so B3, where the starting point is adjourned consideration, and the category range is adjourned consideration to one month imprisonment. Yesterday, you were sentenced to a suspended sentence of 26 days. Sometimes, when a suspended sentence is passed for a while and someone has not breached the suspended sentence, it is possible for the Court to either not activate it or only activate it in part, but of course in this case, because not even a day had passed before you breached the suspended sentence, I cannot give you any further credit for that. Again, the situation is there are aggravating factors which are that there were good reasons for the injunction to be granted to protect your mother and her neighbours for the reasons set out in the witness statements which I have read. The mitigating factors are your long-term problems with drug addiction and your early guilty plea today tended at the first possible opportunity. The most important factor is the fact that you were made aware yesterday of what the consequences of your actions would be, and within hours you decided to completely ignore both what I said to you and, more importantly, what you said to me when you promised me that you would not go back to your mother’s flat.
  4. In the circumstances, I have got to decide what an appropriate penalty is for this particular breach first. The penalty for this particular breach would be a sentence of 28 days in custody, but I am prepared to give you full credit for a guilty plea which will be a deduction of nine days. I also am prepared to take into account that you were in custody overnight, which translates to a figure of two days because of the way that the sentencing system works with committals. Therefore, that is a total of 17 days’ custody in relation to this breach. In addition, I am going to activate the suspended sentence in full, which will be enforced consecutively to the breach for today, so that is 26 days plus 17 days, a total of 43 days’ imprisonment. You will serve one half of that sentence in custody and then you will be entitled to automatic release. The effect of this sentence is therefore that you will serve between 21 and 22 days, I am guessing 21 days in custody before you are released back into society. I hope you can then continue to cooperate with your probation officer and undertake the help that you have had previously with Forward Leeds. I think that is a sufficient explanation of the sentence. I have taken into account all the relevant factors in reaching that decision.