Saturday, 5 September 2009

Trebanog noise nuisances have equipment seized

A Trebanog couple who ignored repeated warnings to turn down their unacceptably-loud music have had their noise-generating equipment seized and destroyed and have been fined nearly £1000.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Environmental Health officers had no choice but to prosecute Mark Waugh and Kelly Wood for the noise nuisance at their privately-rented house in Pen Darren.

The case began in March this year following complaints from the community about loud music, mainly dance tunes, coming from the house at all times of the day and night.

Following investigation, an abatement notice was served on the couple, but this went unheeded. The situation in terms of the distress being caused to neighbours was deemed so serious that complainants were placed on a special system, allowing them to call out an EHO at any time of the day or night.

In April this year, the EHOs were called out twice to the area, once at 4.30am and again at 2pm and, on both occasions, noise nuisance was being caused.

As a result of this, council officers attended Rhondda Magistrates’ Court the following day and secured a warrant that enabled them to enter the address and seize all equipment that could be used for making amplified sound.

Items seized included:
  • Three televisions
  • A stereo amplifier
  • Free View box
  • Alarm clock-radio
  • VCR player
  • DVD player and 18 DVDs
  • Two hi-fis
  • A Playstation one and a Playstation two, as well as 24 games and controls
  • Two car stereos and 12 cassette tapes
  • A cctv monitor
  • Two speakers
  • A large sub-woofer
  • Forty three CDs
Just 13 days later and officers were again called to the road, this time at 6am, where a noise nuisance was determined. Later the same day, May 14, officers attended the same court again and secured a further warrant.

Upon entry to the house, officers were shown a child’s cassette player by Waugh. He was warned that officers would continue visiting his house and seizing his belongings all the while he continued to make a noise nuisance and that he faced prosecution for breaching the abatement order.

Waugh and Wood appeared before Rhondda Magistrates Court this month where he admitted three charges of breaching the abatement order, an offence under the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and she admitted two counts of the same offence.

Both were fined £525 and ordered to pay costs of £202 and a victim’s surcharge of £15.

Andrew Young, Head of Environmental Protection, said: “This was an exceptional case where the level of noise nuisance, not to mention the distress caused to the nearby community, was extremely high, which is why we followed this course of action.

“I hope it serves as a warning to others across the county of the serious consequences they face if they continue to cause a nuisance despite warnings and abatement notices.

“It should also serve as reassurance to residents that we are working on their behalf and they should come to us if they are suffering such an issue.

“It is also important to remember that a noise nuisance does not have to be of the same gravity as the one in this case for us to investigate. If you have a problem or complaint, please make contact.”


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