By SYANN THOMPSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was sentenced to 90 days in prison and fined in the Supreme Court on Friday after being found in contempt of court.
Nygard was not present for the hearing.
Justice Ruth Bowe-Darville handed down her judgment and sentenced Nygard to 90 days imprisonment and fined him $150,000, which is to be paid in the next seven days. If he does not turn himself over to police or pay the fine, the judge ordered that he would spend an additional 30 days in prison and fined $5,000 for each day the fine is unpaid.
Nygard has been the subject of numerous contempt orders and was sentenced on Friday for a contempt of court in a case centreing on the theft of emails from Save The Bays, an advocacy group. The emails surfaced in an affidavit exhibited by lawyer Keod Smith, one of Nygard’s Bahamian lawyers who represented the Canadian in an earlier contempt hearing. Later, the lawyers for STB secured an injunction preventing Nygard and Keod Smith from perusing, publishing or disseminating any information contained within the emails.
Justice Bowe-Darville also ordered that in seven days, Nygard must make a full apology to the court giving full and verifiable reasons for his non-appearance and also assure the court in writing that he would discontinue using the emails which were the subject of a February 2019 injunction in New York court proceedings. Nygard will have to pay an additional fine of $5,000 in both instances if he does not apologise and discontinue using the said emails.
Counsel for Nygard, Rouchard Martin, requested a stay of the order for several reasons including that it would be unjust for his client to spend time in prison considering the case has a real prospect of success in the Court of Appeal. The attorney said that Nygard was not properly served in accordance with the rules of the Supreme Court; therefore, these grounds should give the court reason to stay the order.
Justice Bowe-Darville rejected the request stating that the order includes adhering to the original injunction which remains in place. She said that there was zero injustice in the case and moreover, the defendant is not in the jurisdiction. Justice Bowe-Darville stated that any further application for a stay of the order should be made to the Court of Appeal.
Julian Malins - an attorney for Fred Smith, QC, who is legal director of Save the Bays, and the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay - in reacting to the judgment told reporters “justice has been done”.