Developing

Divorce Battle: Husband Jailed Over Cash Row

A property dealer has been given a six-month jail term after a High Court judge ruled he was in contempt of court.

Scot Young is embroiled in a divorce cash fight with his estranged wife Michelle over missing finances.

Lawyers representing Michelle Young, 48, had argued that her husband, 51, had given the High Court the "run around" after being told to provide details of his finances and should be sent to prison. 

Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Mrs Young, had told the court that Young had been worth £400m in 2006 but had given  "absolutely no explanation" about where that money had gone.

And he said Young pleaded poverty but seemed to be living a lifestyle "consistent with considerable wealth".

Mr Fitzgerald added: "He is going from party to party with champagne glass in his hand and his current girlfriend, some supermodel or other, on his arm."

Young, who represented himself at a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday, said Mrs Young was trying to commit him to prison out of "malice".

He said he had "done everything in my power" and asked judge Mr Justice Moor to give him more time to answer questions about his finances.

Mr Young told the court that he recently been "detained" in hospital under mental health legislation and had been unable to secure the services of a barrister.

He said he had been harassed by "eight private detectives" instructed by Mrs Young and "made unwell". He suggested that he was under greater surveillance than a terrorist.

Young asked for another 28 days to comply with orders.

But the judge said Young was in contempt. "He has not complied," said Mr Justice Moor. "There has been a flagrant and deliberate contempt over a very long period of time."

And he said neither a fine nor a suspended sentence would be a sufficient penalty.

Wednesday's hearing was the latest stage in a lengthy cash battle between the pair.

The Youngs, who both live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006.

A judge two years ago ordered Young to pay Mrs Young £27,500-a-month maintenance.

Young - who has been described at earlier court hearings as a "property tycoon" - says he is bankrupt and cannot pay. Mrs Young says he has "secreted enormous assets".

The pair's claims are due to be fully argued at a trial scheduled to begin later this year.