29/07/2007

Barrister

Joy Brereton

Court

Court of Appeal

Summary

A judge had rightly imposed a committal order on a mother who was in contempt of court by failing to comply with an order requiring her to remove any reference to her daughter from various internet sites.

Facts

The appellant mother (M) appealed against a decision of the judge imposing a committal order. M had previously been ordered to remove any reference to her daughter from various internet sites. In subsequent proceedings, the judge drew M’s attention to the continuing effect of that order. M failed to comply with the order and the judge therefore committed her for contempt for a period of 56 days’ imprisonment suspended for 14 days and not to be enforced if she complied with the root order. The respondent local authority and father opposed M’s appeal against the committal order.

Held

HELD: M’s appeal was a hopeless one. There was no doubt that she had defied court orders by posting information relating to her case as she saw it and specifically referring to her daughter on websites in various locations. That situation had been fairly considered by the judge. His holding that M was in contempt was well-founded and the sanction imposed was manifestly within the generous ambit of his discretion.

Appeal dismissed