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British appeals court frees Singapore father jailed for contempt

It finds that judge, also in a related case, should have recused herself

Published on Jul 22, 2014 9:14 AM
 

A British appeals court has freed a Singaporean dad jailed for contempt after finding the judge involved should have recused herself from dealing with the case.

The court held that the judge had been so "steeped" in the child wardship case, which led to the contempt hearing, that it would have been a "better course" and "a safer one" for another judge to hear the case.

In April, the Singaporean banker was jailed for 18 months for failing to return his Singapore-based two-year-old son "M" to London, as ordered in an ongoing custody tussle with his estranged London-based wife. The man, who cannot be named, had not complied with court orders to return M, who has been looked after by his paternal grandparents here since last July.

The appeals court, in judgment grounds released last week, held that it was "inappropriate" for the judge to deal with the man for contempt, given her strong remarks which an appeals court judge described as coercive in the run-up to the actual contempt hearing.

 
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Background story

The appeals court held that it was "inappropriate" for the judge to deal with the man for contempt, given her strong remarks which an appeals court judge described as coercive.

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