Family court judge set to sentence property developer at contempt hearing

UK News | Published:

John Hart and ex-wife Karen have been fighting over money after marriage breakdown

A wealthy property developer who has fought over millions of pounds with his ex-wife is facing jail after a divorce court judge decided he was in contempt.

Judge Stephen Wildblood is scheduled to sentence John Hart, who is in his 80s, at a hearing in Bristol on Wednesday.

The judge concluded last month that Mr Hart had failed to comply with an undertaking,  and orders, made during divorce court litigation.

He said, in a ruling published after a hearing in Bristol on February 23, that Mr Hart resented orders made in favour of former air hostess Karen Hart.

The judge said Mr Hart’s contempt of court had been “persistent”.

Mr Hart had been told to transfer his shares in a property company to Mrs Hart.

He had undertaken, and been ordered, to provide information which would help Mrs Hart manage the company.

Judge Wildblood said Mr Hart had “acted in contemptuous disregard” of the undertaking and orders and warned that he could be jailed.


Detail of the case emerged in 2017 after Court of Appeal judges were asked to analyse issues.

Appeal judges heard how Judge Wildblood had awarded Mrs Hart a £3.5 million chunk of a marital asset kitty worth around £9.4 million.

Ms Hart, who is in her 60s, complained that decision was unfair.

She said the kitty should have been shared equally.

Three appeal judges ruled against her in August after analysing the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

Judges heard the Harts had lived near Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands and been married for about 20 years.

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