A British businessman living in Dubai has been given a suspended prison sentence by the High Court in London for contempt of court after failing to make court-ordered payments to his ex-wife. Paul Grundy and his ex-wife Jennifer Francis moved to the Middle Eastern state after their 2002 marriage and established a business installing fencing on construction sites. This was highly successful and the couple enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle before their marriage ended in 2009.
Mrs Grundy returned to England, while her former husband remained in Dubai. In 2012 a judge ordered Mr Grundy to pay his ex-wife a settlement of £2.3 million but he is still to pay more than £2 million. Ms Francis went to court, arguing that Mr Grundy had breached the order to pay and was in contempt. He did not attend the High Court hearing in London but insisted through lawyers that he was unable to pay. But, Mrs Justice Parker referred to bank statements which reportedly showed that Mr Grundy had spent many thousands of pounds at luxury goods stores. The judge declared:
“The bank statements demonstrate a very lavish life of expenditure on luxury goods. It is absolutely plain to me that this is a man who continues to live a lavish lifestyle. [He] had the money to fritter away on luxury goods but he has paid so little to [Ms Francis].”
Mr Grundy was sentenced to six weeks in jail suspended for three months. The sentence would be removed if he paid the sums owed, the judge noted. Solicitor Holly Lamb of Stowe Family Law represented Ms Francis. She said:
“Our client is delighted.”