‘Lapland’ brother found guilty of contempt

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ONE of two brothers jailed for running a Lapland-style theme park on the Hampshire/Dorset border has avoided a prison sentence after being found guilty of contempt of court.

Henry Mears, 60, was sentenced to 28 days suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £750 costs after being found guilty of threatening barrister Gary Lucie on the eve of the Lapland trial in November last year.

Mears, a former greengrocer turned taxi driver, leered over the prosecutor and told him that ‘mechanisms were in place to hold those responsible’ for bringing the case to trial.

Mr Lucie was so shocked by the threat that he brought the matter to the attention of the Lapland trial judge, Judge Mark Horton, who ordered that Mears should be prosecuted for contempt of court.

After a one-day summary trial at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Carol Hagen ruled that Mears was in contempt of court when he threatened Mr Lucie.

‘I am in no doubt that the words said were as Mr Lucie said to the court and neither am I in any doubt to the tone in which the words were said or to the defendant’s demeanour as he said them,’ Judge Hagen said.

Mears, of Coombe Road, Brighton, denied contempt of court and giving evidence blamed a bad back for leaning over Mr Lucie.

He told the court: ‘I did not lose my temper or threaten Mr Lucie in any way – 100 per cent definitely not.’

Henry and Victor Mears were jailed for 13 months in March after being found guilty of eight charges of selling misleading advertising. Henry Mears’ contempt of court trial heard that they were both released from prison last month on home-tagged curfew.