How are contact orders to be enforced if the courts appear toothless in respect of sanctions for contempt?

In TJ v SB [2018] SAC (Civ) 15 (30 May 2018), the Sheriff Appeal Court considered whether a sheriff was entitled to make no order when there was a flagrant contempt and having recognised that admonition was not an appropriate sentence.

Having established that the appellant had locus to pursue the appeal, the court considered that the sheriff had balanced all of the facts and circumstances, including the respondent mother’s mental health problems and the impact her imprisonment would have on the child. The sheriff was right to allow the contemnor the opportunity to reflect on her behaviour and embark on a future course of compliance to mitigate the proven contempt.