Moutreuil v Andreewitch & Anor (Contempt: Sentence) [2020] EWHC 3085 (Fam)

 Mr Justice Cobb considered [read full report here] the appropriate sanction for “flagrant” breaches of a freezing injunction, whereby 562 withdrawals were made from the shared account of an unmarried couple of 20 years. The circumstances of the case resulted in a 6-month term of imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

In reaching this conclusion Mr Justice Cobb set out in detail the applicable legal principles to the application of sanctions [paras 7-10]. The court took into account that it was not the female partner’s wish to see her partner receive a custodial sentence, accepting such a sentence as a last resort. The breaches were deliberate, repeated and over an extended period of time. Such breaches had left the funds materially depleted, depriving the family of funds set aside for family therapy. Furthermore, the male partner had, only at a very late stage, admitted his wrongdoing nor accepted responsibility for the beach. The female partners costs were ordered to be paid by the male partner on an indemnity basis.