Egeneonu v Egeneonu, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, November 15, 2018, [2018] EWCA Civ 2565

Resolution Date:November 15, 2018
Issuing Organization:Civil Division
Actores:Egeneonu v Egeneonu
 
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Neutral Citation Number: [2018] EWCA Civ 2565

Case No: B6/2018/2554

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM THE FAMILY DIVISION

Mr Justice Cobb

FD13P02234

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 15 November 2018

Before :

LORD JUSTICE FLOYD

and

LORD JUSTICE PETER JACKSON

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Between :

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Neelo Shravat (instructed by Miles and Partners Solicitors LLP) for the Appellant

Dermot Main Thompson (instructed by Bindmans LLP) for the Respondent

Hearing date: 15 November 2018

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Judgment ApprovedLord Justice Peter Jackson:

  1. On 5 October 2018, Cobb J sentenced Victor Egeneonu (`Victor') to a term of 7 months' imprisonment for contempt of court: see Egeneonu v Egeneonu [2018] EWHC 3029 (Fam). Victor does not challenge the findings of contempt, most of which he had admitted, but now appeals against the length of the sentence.

  2. The events leading to Victor's imprisonment began in 2013 with the unlawful retention of three children in Nigeria by their father Levi Egeneonu (`Levi'), since when they have been deprived of all contact with their mother. Judges of the Family Division have made repeated orders to secure the children's return, but these have been consistently disobeyed. This eventually led to a series of findings of contempt and sentences of imprisonment for Levi, who is currently serving a sentence upheld by this court last July: Egeneonu v Egeneonu [2018] EWCA Civ 1714.

  3. Victor, who is a 30-year-old married man with three young children, is either an uncle or an older half-brother of the abducted children. A number of the orders required him to produce information and to assist in securing their return. It has been the mother's case that Victor has disobeyed these orders and instead done what he could to help Levi to keep the children in Nigeria. In 2015, she applied for Victor's committal and Newton J found that he had lied a number of times over several hearings in an active effort to mislead the court. He sentenced him to 3 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. It is plain from his sentencing remarks that the judge showed leniency on the basis of Victor's personal circumstances.

  4. However, Victor continued in the same manner and more recently committed these further contempts:

    (1) On 11 August 2017 he gave false oral evidence (a) to the...

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