Committal for contempt of Court in Open Court in the County Court sitting at Swindon: Morgan

|Contempt of Court

Case No: B00TW222

In The County Court at Swindon

Islington Street, Swindon SN1 2HG

10 February 2016


His Honour Judge Blair QC


Sovereign Housing Association – Claimant


Mr Dean Morgan – Defendant


HHJ Blair QC :

  1. The Defendant was made the subject of an injunction on Friday, 5 February 2016 under the Anti-social Behaviour and Police Act 2014 at Chippenham County Court by District Judge Asplin. That injunction was served upon him personally the same afternoon. On Tuesday, 9 February 2016 the police attended at his address and discovered that there were two other adults present, together with a 16-year-old female. These were contrary to the provisions of the injunction. He was arrested under the power of arrest which was provided for by the injunction.
  2. He was brought before me at 11:30 AM today and the Claimant’s explanation of the history relayed to me. I gave the Defendant the opportunity of an adjournment to seek legal advice, emphasising to him the seriousness of the proceedings. Notwithstanding that offer, he asked for the case to proceed with him representing himself, whereupon I put to him the alleged breaches of paragraphs 4 and 5 of the injunction. He admitted both of the alleged breaches.
  3. This was his first breach of his injunction, albeit within five days of its imposition. The injunction had been granted principally because of crowds of people occupying his flat, making a nuisance, taking drugs, drinking alcohol to excess and being very noisy for the neighbours. There were no allegations along those lines in respect of the alleged breaches. The defendant’s explanation was that the visitors did not know about the injunction, he was in the process of explaining it to them and the 16-year-old female was there with her older boyfriend.
  4. I have come to the conclusion that this was a knowing breach of the injunction within days of its imposition and therefore properly attracts a short committal to prison for contempt of court, however, because it did not involve any of the features of aggravating behaviour which the injunction was designed to prevent, the sentence for contempt of court should be suspended.
  5. Accordingly, I pass a sentence of 14 days imprisonment to be suspended for 12 months. If the Defendant commits no further breaches of injunction that will be the end of it, however, if he commits any further breach he is liable to serve these 14 days in addition to any other penalty for further breaches.
  6. The Claimant has not applied for their costs in respect of this hearing and so I make no order regarding them.

HHJ Blair QC