A MOTHER and son have escaped an immediate prison sentence after they ‘deliberately and repeatedly’ ignored a city council injunction to not site their caravan on a plot of land.

Lara Kim Deroubaix and her son Luke were issued with an injunction by Winchester City Council in May 2018 which forbid them from siting any caravans or mobile homes on a plot of land they owned in Long Road, Soberton, without planning permission.

But the family continued to flout council notices and instructions until April 8 this year when they are said to have moved off the land.

However, the council took the pair to the High Court for their continued disregard of the injunction and a hearing took place on April 15. The judgement was published on April 30.

The court was told that Ms Deroubaix bought the plot in 2004 when the former agricultural field was divided. She said she had planned to farm on the land. She also had a number of bull terriers which she intended to breed, and she was planning a training school with the dogs and needed fences around the plot to protect the animals.

But the council noted that the family were living on the plot.

Representing the mother and son, Paul Powlesland said these “circumstances arose for his clients out of a sense of desperation, they really needed somewhere to live, and they had no desire to show disrespect for the court”.

But Ms Deroubaix and her son were offered other accommodation by the council, which could accommodate their numerous dogs, but they were unhappy with the alternatives.

Mr Justice Cavanagh said in his judgement: “It is absolutely clear, in my judgment, that the defendants decided to carry on living in the site, in flagrant disregard of the court orders. The fact that the defendants wanted to carry on living there and were not happy with the alternative locations offered to them by the council does not provide an excuse or mean that it is not in the public interest to punish the defendants for contempt.”

Ms Deroubaix and her son were each given a one-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.