Breach of restraint order and perverting the course of justice
Produced in partnership with Azizur Rahman of Rahman Ravelli
Breach of restraint order and perverting the course of justice

The following Corporate Crime practice note Produced in partnership with Azizur Rahman of Rahman Ravelli 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 under section 41 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) will constitute a civil contempt of court, not a criminal one and be treated as such (as in OB v Director of the Serious Fraud Office). The breach of a restraint order will be treated as a contempt of court under POCA 2002, s 41(7).

However, the mere fact that a warning of the sanction of contempt of court for the breach of the order is set out on the face of the restraint order does not prevent the prosecution from pursuing other charges including perverting the course of justice. The court in R v Kenny considered it ‘fanciful to suppose that a person contemplating disobedience of a restraint order act[s] 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 order may only result in contempt of court.

In R v Kenny the court emphasised that, depending on the circumstances of the case, the offence of perverting the course of justice is capable of being committed in otherwise wholly civil proceedings following R v Vreones (a civil case which concerned the preparation of false evidence for use in an arbitration). The object of a restraint order

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