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Contempt of Court: Full Court of Appeal against severity of a sentence

In August 2015 Mr Faukland made an appeal to the Full Court of the Family Court against the severity of the sentence imposed on him for contempt of Court.

On 25 June 2014, An Order had been made in the Federal Circuit Court restraining Mr Faukland by injunction from disposing of a prestige luxury motor vehicle other than with the written consent of his former Wife or pursuant to a Court Order.

On 14 December 2014, Mr Faukland informed the Wife’s solicitors that he had sold the motor vehicle for $90,000 cash without obtaining the consent of the Wife or by way of Court Order. Mr Faukland informed the Wife that the $90,000 had been spent on gambling and drugs. The Wife also had concerns that Mr Faukland had spent a further $170,000 on similar activities and as such she issued an urgent Court Application.

The matter was listed urgently before Judge Bender on 19 December 2014 who made an Order that Mr Faukland provide to the Wife’s lawyers full contact details of the purchaser and that in in the event he failed to comply with that Order, Mr Faukland must deliver up possession of the vehicle to the Wife’s solicitors by 22 December 2014.

Mr Faukland did not comply with these Orders.

Subsequently on 29 January 2015, the Wife filed an application for contempt in failing to comply with the Orders made on 19 December 2014.

Mr Faukland denied being in contempt.

On 6 August 2015, the Judge found that Mr Faukland was in contempt of Court. Mr Faukland was sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment of 3 months on each contempt, to be served consecutively.

Mr Faukland appealed this decision due to the sentence having been suspended indefinitely.

The Full Court of the Family Court agreed with Mr Faukland that the indefinite suspension of the term of imprisonment was not justified in the circumstances of the case and an Order was made for the sentence to be suspended until 31 December 2018.


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