Disturbance from barking dog in Preston leads to fine for owners

Preston Magistrates' Court
Preston Magistrates' Court
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The owners of a nuisance dog that caused misery for neighbours with its persistent barking have been prosecuted under noise protection laws


Mick and Ruth Newton, of The Boulevard, Frenchwood, Preston, each admitted three breaches of a noise abatement notice.


The order had been served in connection with the dog barking excessively at their smallholding at the Evergreen Nurseries compound on Esplanade, Preston.


The noisy animal has triggered a series of complaints to Preston Council from fed up residents over the last 18 months.


Some reported they had disturbed sleep during a religious festival, and were not able to enjoy their gardens due to the disturbance.


Preston Magistrates’ Court heard environmental health officers placed secret recording equipment in homes close to the Newton’s rented plot of land to monitor the noise level, which showed the levels were excessive.


Prosecuting, Jorge Carrera said at the time of the latest probe the couple had already been served with a noise abatement notice about their pet, but on three occasions in February the noise continued as they “deliberately” flouted the order, leaving the animal at the plot.


Representing himself, Mr Newton, 57, told the court the smallholding had been a therapeutic place for him after he broke his back in seven places in an accident seven years ago and suffered a massive heart attack.


They have a month to leave after the landowners decided to sell up.


Mrs Newton, 55, claimed she had told residents to approach them of there were any more issues with the dog.


She added: “I have never broken the law. I have spoken to the council over the last 19 years.


“I take offence to the word ‘deliberately’.


They must each pay a £120 fine, £30 surcharge and £100 costs.


The chairman said: “ This has caused serious upset to the local community.


“People have complained to the council on a number of occasions.


“They shouldn’t have been put in that position.”

Councillor Peter Moss, Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council, said: “This conviction sends out a clear message that excessive noise levels and being inconsiderate towards your neighbours will not be tolerated.

“The audio is one of 13 recordings made that morning from a bedroom over one hundred metres away from where the dog was kept.

“It’s easy to report noise nuisance via the council’s website. No-one should have to endure that kind of distress in their own home.”