Fined Westward Ho! resident now loses sound equipment for continuing to disturb neighbours with noise

Barnstaple Magistrates Court

Earlier this year Mathew Clark of Westward Ho! pleaded guilty by email at Barnstaple Magistrates Court to breaching a Community Protection Notice served on him for noise by Torridge District Council. The Court imposed a fine of £330, full costs of £1305 and £33 victim surcharge, making a total of £1,668.

The prosecution followed a lengthy investigation and several previous attempts seeking to get Mr Clarke to modify his behaviour regarding excessive noise generated from his home. He had been served with a Community Protection Notice in August 2017 which required him not to disturb neighbouring residents at any time with amplified sound from his premises, including sound from playing any music, games consoles or any other electronic devices such as televisions or IT equipment.

Despite this further complaints have been made by his neighbours who have continued to report music being played at high volumes, starting in the evening, and frequently going on into the early hours of the morning. Torridge Council Environmental officers made further investigations into these complaints which included taken recordings of the noise to prove the nuisance.

As a result officers took the evidence back to court recently and were granted a warrant to enter the premises to seize any noise equipment from the property. The warrant was executed in a joint operation with the Police and as a result Council officers removed 2 large TV's, several stereo amplifiers, a blue ray player and a games console from Mr Clark's home. The equipment will now be kept for a minimum of 28 days while a prosecution case is prepared for the contravention of the noise abatement order. An application may also be made to the court for the permanent forfeiture of the seized items which may then be destroyed or disposed of.

Lead member for the Environment - Councillor Ken James said:

"It really is astounding that the individual being prosecuted in this case has failed to moderate his behaviour after all the warnings and the substantial fine the court previously imposed. With the assistance of the police he has now forfeited all TV's, Stereo equipment and games consoles that were present in the property, with the potential for these to remain confiscated on a permanent basis. Thankfully not everyone is as thoughtless to their neighbours as this individual but it does show that the Council take these complaints seriously and will continue to prosecute where necessary. Hopefully the ongoing action in this case will improve the quality of life for some of the neighbouring residents."

09 October 2018