Employee imprisoned for breaching court order
20 July 2017
The High Court has imposed a sentence of 6 weeks imprisonment on an employee for breaches of an interim injunction in a dispute over confidential information, in OCS Group UK v Dadi.
Mr Dadi was an employee of the Claimant, an aviation cleaning contractor at Heathrow. His employer alleged that he had sent its confidential information to his private email, and served an interim injunction on him. Before seeking advice, Mr Dadi committed several breaches of the order, including deleting around 8,000 emails and tipping off others about the injunction. After obtaining legal advice, he then admitted breaching the order and co-operated with the Claimant in trying (unsuccessfully) to recover the deleted emails.
The court took a number of factors into account in sentencing, and following the approach in Crystal Mews Ltd v Metterick, imposed what it regarded as the minimum term of imprisonment appropriate with regard to each of the breaches, considering imprisonment necessary given the need for continuing compliance with orders in this case, and as a warning to others.
With thanks to Daniel Barnett’s employment law bulletin for providing this case summary.