On 18 March 2014, the Federal Court has ordered that if Mr Peter Foster does not surrender himself by 4.00 pm (EST) on 25 March 2014, his appeal against the three year imprisonment sentence imposed on him will be dismissed for want of prosecution, without further order. 

Until 4.00pm on 25 March, Mr Foster’s appeal will continue to be stayed. 

Warrants for the arrest and imprisonment of Mr Foster are still in force. 

In November 2013, Mr Foster filed an appeal from the decision of Justice Logan in 24 October 2013 ordering that Mr Foster be imprisoned for three years for contempt of court. The contempt proceedings brought by the ACCC related to Mr Foster’s involvement in Sensaslim and his failure to advise franchisees of his involvement, as required by earlier orders in ACCC v Chaste Corporation Pty Ltd (in liquidation) & Ors (Chaste) in 2005. 

Mr Foster filed this appeal without personally appearing before the Court, at a time when he had failed to surrender himself to the court and there were outstanding warrants for his arrest and imprisonment. 

Justice Dowsett found that Mr Foster has blatantly disregarded the court order of 26 September 2013, requiring his court attendance on 27 September 2013.  Mr Foster did not offer any justification for not attending court.

In handing down his decision, Justice Dowsett noted that ‘the Court takes a very serious view of [Mr Foster’s] conduct’ and that ‘the need to vindicate the authority of the Court is obvious’.

“In view of Mr Foster’s failure to comply with the court’s order that he surrender himself following a finding he was in contempt of earlier orders, the ACCC submitted to the court that Mr Foster’s appeal should be dismissed as an abuse of process,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. 

“Where necessary, the ACCC will take action to ensure that court orders designed to protect consumers are enforced,” Mr Sims said.

On 11 November 2011, the ACCC commenced contempt proceedings against Mr Foster for breaching orders in Chaste, which operated until 2 September 2010. The ACCC alleged that from December 2009 to 2 September 2010 Mr Foster was:

  • directly or indirectly knowingly concerned in the promotion or conduct of the business of Sensaslim which was a business relating to weight loss, and thereby breached order 27 made against him in Chaste;
  • knowingly concerned in Sensaslim, making or permitting to be made representations as to the particular standard or quality of the Sensaslim Solution, without providing the representee, prior to making the representation, with a copy of the Chaste orders, or informing the representee of the existence of the orders and giving the representee the address of the Federal Court website, and thereby breached order 29 of Chaste.