Divorcing husband sentenced to jail for withholding information

A businessman has been sentenced to four months in prison after failing to disclose financial information during his divorce proceedings.

The high profile case involved former model Alisa Thiry and her second husband, Didier Thiry, a Belgian businessman and property developer.

Their divorce involved complex discussions about how the couple’s considerable wealth should be divided. One of the points at issue involved a £13m loan which Mrs Thiry says she made to a company owned by Mr Thiry. She says the loan has not been repaid.

A court order was made requiring Mr Thiry to provide specific information about the loan. He failed to comply.

Mr Justice Newton said he regarded this as a “flagrant” contempt of court. He said: “I take the view that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated.

“It must be understood by this husband, and by all husbands, that when considerable time, money and effort have been expended, it is simply unacceptable for the court to be treated in this way.

“I find the contempt proved and in the circumstances I propose to pass an immediate sentence of four months imprisonment.”

At the time of sentencing, Mr Thiry was in Belgium. Mr Justice Newton said he would be arrested as soon as he set foot on UK soil. However, he also added that Mr Thiry could apply for a hearing to purge his contempt by providing the required information and apologising to the court.

This is clearly an extreme case but illustrates how seriously the law regards failure to disclose assets and other important information during divorce proceedings.

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