Jail threat to judge ends in prison term

A man who claimed a judge should spend life in prison for corruption has found himself with a jail term for contempt of court.

Ian Andrew Wood was sentenced in the Supreme Court in Brisbane yesterday to imprisonment over allegations of incompetence, corruption and criminal conduct he made last year against the court and a judge.

Wood was found guilty on 6 June by Senior Judge Administrator Martin, who yesterday handed down a four-month sentence for two contempts committed on 26 July 2023, and a two-month sentence for one contempt committed on 2 August 2023, to be served concurrently. The four-month sentence was suspended on a two-year, good-behaviour condition.

Justice Martin said the offending was “reprehensible and intolerable”, and related to proceedings which followed Wood filing a claim against two law firms in June 2022. Wood had sought $11 million for “pure mental harm” and $500,000 for “financial loss” from one firm; and $16 million and $500,000 respectively from the other.

The firms each applied for an order to strike out the claim. Wood also then applied to amend his claims to include professional negligence and aggravated damages, and additional damages for breach of contract, special damages, exemplary damages and parasitic damages.

At the first hearing of the matter on 26 July, Wood told the judge: “I’m just astounded that the Supreme Court is so incompetent”, and “I hope these people are worth spending the rest of your life in prison, because that’s where you’re going under section 120 of the Criminal Code, “judicial corruption”… So you’re not actually acting impartially; you’re not acting fairly, and you’re not acting in an unwise (sic) matter. So enjoy prison.”


Wood was given an opportunity to show cause why he should not be dealt with for contempt. His response included telling the judge that he would file a “two and a half thousand-page affidavit proving that the court is corrupt, and I will take it to the High Court if necessary, and you will all be disrobed”, and “I’ll sue you personally. Yeah, false imprisonment; false arrest; false accusation. You’ll go to prison for the rest of your life.”

At the further hearing on 2 August, when Wood was given an opportunity to withdraw his claim, his response included: “Actually, your Honour, I’m going to give you the opportunity to apologise to me for abusing your power as a Supreme Court judge, which is a crime under sections 92 and 92A of the Criminal Code. Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Court of Appeal handed down a decision on Friday last week which prevents you from holding me in contempt because you haven’t complied with the rules. So I’m going to expect an apology —“

Justice Martin said the contemptuous statements were deliberate and repetitive, and intended to interfere with the administration of justice.

“The allegations of incompetence, corruption (both of the court and the judge), and criminal conduct, together with threatening the judge with legal action, were calculated challenges to the authority of the court,” he said.

“The respondent’s conduct on 26 July was deliberately disruptive and disrespectful. The conduct on 2 August was purposeful. Mr Wood alleged abuse of power and criminal conduct for which he said the judge should apologise.

“The objective seriousness of the contempt on 26 July can be measured by reference to the words used, the number of separate instances, the nature of the allegations and threats, and the deliberation with which they were delivered.


“The objective seriousness of the contempt on 2 August can be measured by reference to the nature of the allegations and threats as well as the obvious forethought which had been given to the words used.”

Justice Martin said Wood had made no apology or public expression of contrition over his conduct, and there was a “need to ensure that such conduct is emphatically denounced and effectively deterred”.

He pointed out that at the hearing last month to determine penalty, Wood claimed the Registrar had fabricated a document; that the court and judge were corrupt; that the judge should “Go f… yourself” and “enjoy prison, buddy”; and that the judge was attempting to pervert the course of justice and was biased.

Wood submitted in mitigation that it “is completely within my purview to correctly call the court corrupt, which it is, and your Honour has proven that. So therefore the penalty should be nothing. I should not be punished for speaking the truth in a court of law”.

He argued that if a penalty was to be imposed, a fine would be appropriate, and not imprisonment.

Justice Martin disagreed: “A fine would not appropriately reflect the seriousness of these contempts. The contempts on 26 July were repetitive and an abuse of the authority of the court. The contempt on 2 August 2023 was calculated and contumacious.”


Wood was also ordered to pay costs.

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