Millionaire developer handed jail sentence over breach of divorce settlement

An 83-year-old millionaire property developer has been given a 14 month jail sentence after he was found to be in “persistent” contempt of court.

John Hart failed to comply with court orders following his £9.3m divorce. He was ordered to hand over £3.5m of his £9.3m fortune to his former wife Karen in a divorce settlement in 2015.

Judge Stephen Wildblood ruled that Mr Hart was in contempt of court after he delayed transferring shares in a property company to her and failing to produce documentation and records which she needed to run the company.

Judge Stephen Wildblood said that Mr Hart had wanted to “obstruct her in the efficient running of the company” and still “bitterly resents” the divorce court’s decision to transfer over the company to Mrs Hart.

Judge Stephen Wildblood said the “protracted litigation” around the divorce had been fought out in the courts for almost seven years and the case “had placed an immense burden on limited public funds.”

Mr Hart was sentenced at Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre.