Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 30 (Jan)
Court: Queen's Bench Division, Divisional Court

Lathan LJ and Cooke J

Representation Catrin Evans (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Attorney General.
  Jeremy Russell (instructed by Kent Jowett) for the respondent.
Judgment Dates: 16 January 2008


Contempt of court - Committal - Application - Sentence - Contempt by dishonestly impersonating another - Respondent applying for injunctive relief and filing documents with court in another's name - Respondent admitting contempt - Appropriate sentence.

The Case

It was trite that where there was an interference with the administration of justice which included perjury that would normally lead to a sentence of imprisonment and it would only be in exceptional circumstances that the court could deal with contempt of that sort in any other way. In the instant case, a sentence of three months' imprisonment was appropriate as the respondent had admitted that he had committed contempt by impersonating his friend when making an application for an interim injunction in the county court which involved completing forms and swearing an affidavit in his friend's name. He had also appeared in court representing that he was his friend. Nevertheless, it was not clear cut that the respondent had pre-planned the deception as there was no doubt that the respondent was acting on behalf of a friend and had done so out of concern that his friend was being wrongly treated; he had an impeccable record; and had had the matter hanging over him for 21 months.

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