Little Hadham travellers convicted of Contempt of Court after council calls in leading solicitor

A leading solicitor has helped a council secure convictions against a group of 19 travellers who breached a High Court injunction. The injunction prevented the continued occupation of land they purchased earlier this year near the sought-after village of Little Hadham in Hertfordshire.

William Rose, a Partner at London-based public law specialist, Sharpe Pritchard LLP, acted for East Hertfordshire District Council in the case, which saw High Court judge Graham Wood QC dismiss the application to vary the injunction and make findings of contempt of Court against the travellers.

The council were awarded legal costs of £101,402.67 from the group, which must be paid by 3 October 2019.

The travellers came on to the land on Good Friday and installed hard standing and caravans, having previously purchased the land.

An injunction was secured subsequently by the council with the assistance of William Rose preventing further development of the land and requiring them to vacate it. However, they failed to vacate the land and were convicted of Contempt of Court.

The sentencing of those convicted will take place at the High Court on 26 September.

William Rose said: “I am delighted that the robust approach taken on behalf of the Council in this case has been successful in ensuring that planning law is enforced for the benefit of the community as a whole. This is a very good result for the council.

“The courts can sometimes take quite a lenient view in cases such as this, so I am pleased that the Judge has been persuaded to take a robust stance in this case.

“At Sharpe Pritchard, we are experienced in seeking and enforcing traveller injunctions in order to ensure that the harm caused by breaches of planning law is minimised as quickly as possible”. 

William Rose specialises in obtaining emergency High Court injunctions to prevent breaches of control.  He also specialises in applying to the Court for committal to prison of any Defendants who are in contempt of Court and who have breached High Court Orders.

William Rose is a Recommended Lawyer for Administrative and Public Law in the most recent edition of the prestigious Legal 500 guide to the legal sector.

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published.

Posted in Local government, Public law.