A defiant, unrepetant blogger who appears to bear considerable hostility towards the Seven Network's Kerry Stokes has been jailed a third time for being in contempt of court.
While Shane Dowling contended the latest, and his fourth, contempt finding was "frivolous and vexatious" and merited a $20 fine at the most, Justice Kelly Rees sentenced him to 10 months behind bars.
"The contempt was ongoing and involved subterfuge through the use of an anonymous website and, when that was taken down, the establishment of a second anonymous website," she said on Friday.
The NSW Supreme Court action was brought by Seven Network (Operations) and Seven West Media.
The judge concluded the contempt was "serious and directed to destroying the confidentiality" of information about Seven, in breach of court orders.
While there was no direct evidence about his motive, she said the contents of his publications "suggest that he bears considerable animus toward the plaintiffs and towards various persons including Kerry Stokes".
"His written submissions on penalty demonstrated his continuing obsession with Kerry Stokes and 'Seven' and were infused with animus."
Dowling was fined $2000 for his first contempt after he published in 2014 material on his website which breached court suppression orders, with links to the documents he was banned from disclosing.
He was jailed for four months in 2017 after "enthusiastically" defying orders banning the naming of two women accused of having affairs with Seven West Media boss Tim Worner.
That sentencing judge found Dowling's motivation appeared to include "the expression of the not inconsiderable antipathy" he seemed to bear towards many individuals and professions, including Mr Stokes in particular.
His third contempt arose from events in 2017 when in a crowded courtroom and in a "loud and aggressive" manner, called the registrar "a known bribe taker and paedophile".
Subsequent suppression orders were made, but Dowling published an article with a link to an unauthorised recording he made in court.
He was jailed for 18 months with a non-parole period of 13 months, but the total sentence was reduced to four months on appeal.
Justice Rees said two days before the hearing of the latest matter, Dowling published an article - which he tendered in court - saying she had been ordered by the Chief Justice to jail him on behalf of the plaintiffs.
"Further, I was said to be corrupt and 'one of the biggest grubs sitting on the bench at the NSW Supreme Court although it is very competitive for the title'."
In finding the Seven-related publications were in contempt, she said the court suppression orders were central to the protection of confidential information.
"The conduct was not comprised by a single act.
"Rather it was an ongoing course of conduct in leaving the Fifth Blog Post online, where the contemnor knew that he had been ordered to take it down."
She rejected his attempts to portray himself as a journalist or media publisher.
"Continuing acts of criminal contempt are not a legitimate part of the honourable profession of journalism."
His written submissions on penalty continued to exhibit "elements of self-promotion", containing links to articles he has written on various unrelated topics, together with a reference to his latest book.
They also were "unrepentant and defiant", indicating he had learnt nothing from his three previous sentences.
She found he was likely to reoffend.
Australian Associated Press