Freezing order

In the case of The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc v Dodd the Bank had obtained a freezing order against the Defendant. The terms of the injunction advised that he should not leave the jurisdiction, and that he deliver up his passport to his solicitors.

He breached the freezing order when he obtained a new passport and travelled to Cuba, admittedly, to visit his sick child. He didn’t deliver his passport up until the Bank started committal proceedings. The court found that the Defendant’s attitude had been disrespectful, but his apology was genuine. His breach had caused no prejudice to the Bank.

The court stated that he had good reason for his visit to Cuba, which would be taken into account. However, he should have applied to the court for variation of the order which may well have been granted in the circumstances. He did not do so. He clearly intended to breach the order.

He had handed over his old passport when he faced the committal proceedings, but when his solicitor discovered he had obtained a new one, it was only then that he handed that  one over.

The court took account of his personal circumstances, his depression and made a custodial sentence of two months, suspended for one year.

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