A distressed father who was jailed for contempt of court after sending a chilling DVD to social workers involved in taking his three-year-old son into care and placing him for adoption has been freed by a judge who accepted his belated apology.
The DVD, in which the father appeared hooded and gagged, was sent to a number of council employees. It included clips of bound and gagged people, one of whom had a gun held to his head. The father warned that he was ‘coming for’ his son – ‘T’ – and vowed to ‘go public’ unless the boy was returned to his care.
Concerned for the safety of its staff, the council obtained an injunction against the father which, amongst other things, forbade him from publishing the DVD or talking to journalists about T’s case. He was also banned from harassing or pestering council employees.
He subsequently posted the DVD on YouTube and threatened to circulate it to the media. He tweeted politicians from all the major parties about the case, as well as the Crown Prosecution Service, the Ministry of Justice and various media organisations. When brought before the High Court, he flew into a rage and threatened to kill a council officer. He was jailed for three months.
However, he served only a month in custody before coming back before the Court and apologising for his behaviour. Describing his time in prison as a nightmare which he had no wish to repeat, he promised to abide by the injunction in future. Freeing him, the judge said that the case served as a ‘salutary reminder’ that the consequences of breaching court orders could be extremely serious.