Cheshire West defendant guilty of contempt

Judge orders 3 months imprisonment suspended for a year

At a hearing in Liverpool on Thursday, Mr Justice Holroyde found that Robert Pickthall was guilty of having deliberately breached an anti-harassment injunction on eight occasions. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently. The sentence was suspended for twelve months.

Following a hearing on 3 July 2015 Mr Justice Edis handed down a reserved judgment on 23 July 2015 granting an interim injunction prohibiting Mr Pickthall from harassing councillors, officers and employees of Cheshire West and Chester Council. Mr Pickthall was injuncted from contacting certain individuals and from publishing accusations of criminality, corruption and dishonesty on his website. An application for permission to appeal Edis J’s judgment was rejected by Lord Justice Jackson in early December as being totally without merit.

At a hearing on 17 November 2015 Holroyde J dismissed an application for disclosure brought by Mr Pickthall and granted summary judgment to the claimants. He adjourned the committal application due to a lack of court time.

On Thursday, the contempt application was heard and Mr Pickthall was found guilty of eight ‘entirely clear’ and deliberate breaches of the Order of Mr Justice Edis. The Judge told him that he very much hoped that it would not be necessary to come back before the court but Mr Pickthall ‘must be in no doubt what is to await him if breached again.’

5RB’s Adam Speker acted for the claimants.