Family and Divorce Law
In the case of Bhura v Bhura  The Family Division sentenced a husband to six weeks imprisonment (suspended) for failing to satisfy a financial order made in the USA.
The couple were British citizens. They moved to America and opened a jewellery store. The marriage came to a sudden end after an argument. The husband went to the shop, turned off the CCTV and took all the stock. After receiving the divorce papers the husband returned to the UK and then proceeded to travel extensively overseas. When the matter came before the American courts it was ruled that the stock was worth in excess of $4.85m. The wife was awarded a lump sum alimony of $2m plus interest. The husband did not comply with the order.
The order was subsequently registered in the UK. The wife argued that the husband should be sent to prison under the Debtors Act 1869 as he had the means to pay the order. The husband argued that he had no money.
The court was satisfied that the contents of the shop had been worth about $5m and that the husband had kept items or money directly or via his family. The court ruled the husband did have the means to pay the order and had refused to do so. The husband was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for three months.