Eastleigh Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a couple in Old Netley for the persistent barking of their dogs that had blighted the lives of local residents over the last two years.
The defendants, Mr and Mrs Sibley, were fined a total of £1250 and also ordered to pay full legal costs of £2,340.
The couple had been prosecuted by the Council in 2009 for a similar offence and the Council received evidence of further breaches from local residents. Subsequent investigations by the Council’s Environmental Health team confirmed that the noise abatement order had been breached on a number occasions and the Council commenced a prosecution against Mr and Mrs Sibley for breaches of the abatement notice.
Evidence produced in court by the Council showed the extent of the barking produced by three Great Danes and a French Mastiff that lived on the property. The dogs barked incessantly at all times of the day including at night. On one occasion on an evening in October 2010 in excess of 300 barks were heard in 30 minute period between 11pm and 11.30pm.
A Council spokesperson said:
”The Council takes the issue of noise nuisance in the community extremely seriously and we welcome the magistrates’ decision to find Mr and Mrs Sibley guilty of the breach of the noise abatement notice and award full costs to the Council. The magistrates imposed a fine and awarded costs totalling over £3600 on the couple and this outcome should act as a warning to other residents who cause a noise nuisance that the Council will not hesitate to take action to protect the interests of residents.”
Where the Council can prove a nuisance is occurring it will serve a Noise Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The notice informs the recipient what they have to do to stop causing a nuisance and by when. If the noise persists following service of a Noise Abatement Notice the Council may then prosecute. The maximum penalty for not obeying an abatement order is £5,000 for domestic premises and £20,000 for industrial, trade or business premises.
source: Eastleigh Borough Council