Businessman fined $1m for contempt of court
Portland businessman Kevin Sudeall has been fined $1 million or 30 days’ imprisonment for interfering with the administration of justice. Supermarket operators Garfield Sinclair and Lynsetta Sinclair had filed an application on July 7 seeking a...
Portland businessman Kevin Sudeall has been fined $1 million or 30 days’ imprisonment for interfering with the administration of justice.
Supermarket operators Garfield Sinclair and Lynsetta Sinclair had filed an application on July 7 seeking a declaration that Sudeall was in contempt and should be punished.
Supreme Court Justice Sonya Wint-Blair imposed the fine for criminal contempt on October 5 and gave Sudeall seven days to make the payment. She also granted him leave to appeal.
Sudeall had disobeyed a Supreme Court order of January 8 this year which specifically stated that the claimants shall use the land for “the purpose of parking and delivery”.
The order was granted based on evidence that vehicles belonging to Sudeall were blocking the common area at 16 West Street in Port Antonio, Portland, thus preventing goods delivery at the warehouse for the supermarket. Sudeall operates a car rental business.
No one above law
The claimants and Sudeall both use the common area for their businesses.
“This case shows that no one is above the law and court orders are meant to be obeyed,” Queen’s Counsel Andre Earle, who represented Sinclair, said on Monday.
Attorney-at-law Kimberley Dawkins also appeared with Earle. They were instructed by Earle & Wilson.
Sudeall said he was appealing the January 8 order. However, the judge found that although a notice of appeal was filed, the valid and subsisting order of the court remained in place.
The claimants said Sudeall had repeatedly and deliberately parked vehicles in the common area and prevented delivery trucks from accessing the warehouse.
“It is the view of this court that the first respondent disregarded the injunction and did so in a high-handed manner, intending to wilfully disobey its terms,” the judge said.
“It can be said that based on the evidence, the first respondent has chosen to flout and give scant regard to the orders of the court and, in so doing, has fallen into the hands of the court.”
Attorney-at-law Denise Senior-Smith, instructed by Oswest Senior-Smith & Co., represented Sudeall.