Committal for contempt of Court in Open Court in the County Court sitting at Northampton: Marsden

|Contempt of Court

Regina

-v-

Daniel Marsden

This defendant was before me for trial commencing on 16th August 2016 and concluding with conviction on 18th August 2016.  Throughout these proceedings, the defendant has represented himself although he was represented in proceedings for other offences before this court and the Central Criminal Court.

At a previous hearing, before Her Honour Judge LUCKING QC, the defendant was sentenced to 7 months imprisonment for contempt of court.  On that occasion he was wholly ignoring the directions, ultimately receiving the sentence for refusing to stand up when told to do so.

On the clearest of evidence the defendant was convicted before me for the offence of robbery.  The defendants previous convictions were read out and the defendant interjected with comments that I have not noted.  I warned him at that stage that if he did not keep quiet I would treat it as a contempt of court and he had had experience of the consequences of that.

At a later stage, whilst I was dealing with the issue of when and where he should be sentenced,  the defendant again interrupted Prosecuting Counsel and I said that he should be taken down.  As he left the dock the defendant was still muttering and as he went through the door he shouted “You are all fucking idiots”.  That was the culmination of a sequence of bad behaviour that I considered be a contempt in the face of the court.

I had the defendant brought back into court and said that I had heard what he said and it was not a response to a personal insult but a contempt of the court.  I offered him the opportunity of saying what he wished about the matter and he, effectively, made not response.

I sentenced him to 14 days imprisonment and at that stage said that it should be consecutive to any sentence he was then serving.  I subsequently reminded myself that sentences for contempt must take effect immediately and had the defendant back into court to explain that variation to my order.  That produced the response [in spite of the fact that it was a variation almost certainly to his advantage] that I was treated to some more personal insults that might have smarted but did not cause me to take any further action.

 

HH Judge Michael Fowler

19 August 2016