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Westward Ho! noise nuisance back in Court

Exeter Magistrates Court

Mathew Clarke of Westward Ho! appeared before Exeter Magistrates Court this morning for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order following his arrest in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Clarke's detention was authorised at Barnstaple Police Station where he was interviewed by Accredited Officers from Torridge's Community Safety Team. Clarke was then charged with breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order dated 5 Feb 2019 which required him not to generate noise that would cause alarm harassment or distress to his neighbours. As this was a breach of a Court Order there were sufficient grounds to remand Clarke in police custody pending a hearing on Wednesday 27th March. Clarke appeared before Magistrates and was found guilty of breaching his order by playing load music. He was fined £510 and told that if he was to re-offend he would likely receive a custodial sentence.

At previous hearings Mr Clarke had pleaded guilty to breaching a Community Protection Notice with the Court imposing a fine, costs and victim surcharge totalling of £1,668. At that time 2 large TV's, several stereo amplifiers, a blue ray player and a games console were confiscated and removed from the property. As Mr Clarke continued to create a noise nuisance, and ignored all warnings, a further warrant was executed in October cumulating in the removal of Mr Clark's newly acquired replacement TV and Sound bar.

The prosecution on Wednesday followed a lengthy investigation and repeated attempts to get Mr Clarke to modify his behaviour regarding excessive noise generated from his home.

Environmental Health and Community Safety Manager - Janet Williams said:

"Despite warnings to moderate his behaviour, substantial court fines and previous confiscation of equipment on more than one occasion Mr Clarke has refused to acknowledge that his behaviour towards his neighbours is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I would like to congratulate our officers, who with the support of the police and courts, have pursued this case with determination and were quick to follow up on the continued nuisance this resident has caused. The fine and warning handed down today sends a clear message that we take noise complaints very seriously and will act in the interest of our residents where people fail to cooperate or modify their behaviour. Mr Clarke's blatant disregard for his neighbours is fortunately not something we come across every day"

27 March 2018