A Cathay Pacific pilot adopted a "catch me if you can" attitude to avoid paying his former wife 12 months of maintenance in a transpacific divorce battle spanning more than 14 years, a court heard yesterday.
Scott Henderson would be blocked from taking money from the bank account his salary was deposited into until he had paid the outstanding amount, about HK$829,000, according to a High Court judgment.
He must also pay legal costs of HK$100,000.
The court was earlier told he had moved from Canada to Hong Kong and then to different cities in the United States to avoid giving money to his former spouse, Suzanne Henderson.
"I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the [husband] has all along adopted a 'catch me if you can' attitude," Madam Justice Queeny Au Yeung Kwai-yue said yesterday,
"It surely has been a very draining exercise on the [ex-wife]'s already bad health and strained financial resources."
The husband was to give to the Family Responsibility Office in Canada the support payment due to his ex-wife from August last year to July this year, Au Yeung said.
The judge ordered the continuation of stop-gap measures that prevented him from withdrawing money from his salary account, until the sum was paid up.
In 2002, a court in Ontario, Canada, ordered the husband to pay his former wife both child and spouse support. She obtained a worldwide Mareva injunction to freeze up to C$803,610(HK$5.7 million) of his assets in July last year.
In October, a Hong Kong court ordered that he could access his salary, of more than HK$160,000, only after a C$9,774 monthly payment was deducted for his ex-wife.
However, she complained that he still managed to take out almost his entire salary from his bank account each month without giving her the support payment.
Au Yeung found the ex-husband had "blatantly" failed to make the payments.
Despite the latest ruling, the pair's legal battle is not over yet. Henderson's former wife last month launched a new round of legal efforts to get more than HK$6 million in maintenance payments that she claimed he had been evading for more than 14 years.