Court orders destruction of sound equipment after noise abatement notice breached

Ruling follows a second prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.

Magistrates have ordered the forfeiture and destruction of sound equipment confiscated last July from a resident of Rogation Close, following a second prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.

The latest case, heard by Chelmsford Magistrates on 31 January 2019, was brought after the resident, who did not attend court, breached an abatement notice imposed in February 2018.

That ruling followed action by officers from Colchester Borough Council’s Environmental Protection team and Colchester Borough Homes’ Anti-social Behaviour team in response to neighbours’ complaints of excessive music being played continuously despite the occupant at times being absent from the property.

The court was told the abatement notice had been ignored on several occasions since then.

Magistrates agreed and fined the defendant £100, £100 council costs and a £30 victim surcharge – totalling £230. The bench also considered it was highly likely the defendant would continue with the nuisance if the sound equipment was returned to him and, measuring the loss of the equipment against the nuisance caused to neighbours, ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all the confiscated items.

Councillor Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “This case sends a strong signal to those who repeatedly flout the law that the council takes noise nuisance seriously and that it will act to curtail it through the courts if necessary.

“Constant nuisance noise is extremely anti-social, blights people’s lives and can lead to significant stress and even ill health for those affected.

“While we always act on complaints and try to find ways to resolve the problem to everyone’s satisfaction, in this case it was not possible and we had to use the courts to stop it.

“Any resident with concerns about noise disturbance, including seeking information about what constitutes a nuisance, can find out more online at www.colchester.gov.uk. The council supports residents by both responding to enquiries and investigating and intervening where necessary.”

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