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Fined Westward Ho! resident has sound equipment confiscated for a second time

Confiscated Westward Ho!

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 were made by his neighbours who continued to report music being played at high volumes, starting in the evening, and frequently going on into the early hours of the morning. Following an investigation officers were granted a warrant to enter the premises to seize equipment from the property which they executed in October. In a joint operation with the Police Council officers removed 2 large TV's, several stereo amplifiers, a blue ray player and a games console from Mr Clark's home.

Since then Mr Clark purchased new equipment and has continued to create a noise nuisance for his neighbours. Following further investigations and warnings officers sought court permission to remove further items causing the nuisance. As a result of this a court warrant was executed  on Thursday cumulating in the removal of Mr Clark's newly acquired TV and Sound bar.

A prosecution case is now being prepared for the repeated contraventions of noise abatement orders. An application can also be made to the court for the permanent forfeiture of the seized items which may lead to them being destroyed or disposed of.

Lead member for the Environment - Councillor Ken James said:

"Despite warnings to moderate his behaviour, substantial court fines and previous confiscation of equipment it seems that Mr Clark refuses to acknowledge that his behaviour towards his neighbours is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I am very pleased that our officers have acted quickly to follow up on the continued nuisance this resident has caused, supported by the courts and the police. The further confiscation of equipment is a clear sign that we take noise complaints very seriously and will act where people fail to cooperate or modify their behaviour."

16 November 2018