Breach of restraint order and perverting the course of justice
Breach of restraint order and perverting the course of justice

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Breach of restraint order and perverting the course of justice
  • Breach of restraint order
  • Elements of the offence of perverting the course of justice
  • Public interest in prosecuting for perverting the course of justice

Breach of restraint order

A breach of a restraint order may constitute a civil contempt and be treated as such as in OB v Director of the Serious Fraud Office but this does not preclude other offences being charged from the breach.

In R v Kenny the court emphasised that the offence of perverting the course of justice is capable of being committed in otherwise wholly civil proceedings following R v Vreones, which concerned the preparation of false evidence for use in an arbitration. The object of a restraint order is to preserve funds for the satisfaction of a confiscation order. Confiscation proceedings are criminal in nature, and now being dealt with entirely in the Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002).

The fact that a warning of the sanction of contempt of court for breach of the order is set out on the face of the restraint order does not prevent the prosecution from pursuing other charges. The court in R v Kenny considered it fanciful to suppose that a person contemplating disobedience of a restraint order acts on the basis that he will only be punished for contempt of court. The warning does not give rise to a legitimate expectation that a breach of the order may only result in contempt of court.

Simply because

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