Cathay Pacific pilot's 'HK$6 million flight to avoid paying ex-wife maintenance'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 4:53am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 2:45pm

A Cathay Pacific pilot took flight from Canada to one US state after another, all to avoid paying his former wife more than HK$6 million in maintenance since they divorced 13 years ago, the High Court heard yesterday.

Scott Henderson, 52, who earns HK$165,000 a month, faces an arrest warrant issued by a Canadian court for failing to comply with court orders to support Suzanne Henderson, a former pilot with Air Canada, and their two daughters. Ms Henderson is understood to be in ill health.

She is asking the Court of First Instance to continue in Hong Kong a worldwide asset-freezing injunction that she earlier secured against the man as she tries to get the Ontario judgment enforced in the city.

Ms Henderson's barrister, Felix Ng, said the pilot concealed his assets and diverted funds in order to frustrate her claim.

The court heard that the two were wed in 1996, but the marriage turned sour and Mr Anderson left the family in 1999.

"Since 1999, my client has been ill and has been taking care of two daughters as a single mum," Ng said.

The pilot came under a warrant issued by an Ontario court to jail him for contempt of court after he defied the initial order to give his ex-wife a one-off sum and monthly payments totalling over HK$6 million, the court heard.

"The defendant absconded and fled to California," Ng said.

Henderson was later located by the Family Responsibility Office in California but refused to pay up, claiming the Ontario judgment was fraudulent.

A Californian court later ruled that his criticism of the judgment was "unwarranted" and told him to comply with the order.

The pilot next fled to Arizona, where he was now making the same allegation of fraud in another legal battle, Ng said.

His client sought to enforce the Canadian judgment in Hong Kong or sue her former husband for defaulting on his debts.

He asked Mr Justice Arjan Sakhrani to extend the asset-freezing injunction as the man was highly likely to continue diverting his assets elsewhere.

Ng said the pilot had bought a property in Arizona for US$1.5 million and had transferred half of the share to his current wife.

Mr Henderson's barrister, Paul Leung, will argue that he was not a Hong Kong resident and therefore the judgment could not be enforced in Hong Kong.

The hearing will continue at a later date.