In Veluppillai v Veluppillai Mr Justice Mostyn described the conduct of the husband conducting his own case as ‘abysmal’. .
The case concerned a wife’s application for financial provision. She sought an order to sell one property and to use the proceeds (a) to pay off the mortgage on another and (b) to provide a fund to enable her, to set up a business. The case had started in September 2012 and there had been over 30 hearings including four appeals mounted by the husband.
The Judge said that this unusually high number of hearings had been caused by the husband’s extreme litigation misconduct.
He had made threats to kill his wife and her barrister counsel for which he was committed to prison for contempt. He had been removed from the courtroom on at a least one occasion by security staff. He had been repeatedly warned by judges about his unpleasant menacing conduct in court. On one occasion he assaulted the wife’s barrister and the wife in court for which he was later convicted of assault in the magistrates’ court. He skipped his sentencing hearing and fled abroad from where he bombarded the court with abusive emails claiming that he had a fatal illness and demanding that the proceedings be adjourned indefinitely. In the course of the proceedings he entered into a number of transactions designed to defeat the wife’s claims.
The Judge considered the wife’s proposal ’eminently reasonable and fair’ and made an order in the terms requested in order to achieve a clean break. He also ordered that the husband should pay the wife’s costs assessed in the sum of £146,609.
The Judge further directed that all of the husband’s emails to court since 8 October 2015 should be sent to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for him to decide if any of the threats contained in them amount to criminal offences.
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