Northamptonshire man prosecuted for third time for allowing his dogs to cause nuisance noise

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A Towcester dog owner has been fined again after ignoring official notices to stop his dogs barking and causing a nuisance to his neighbours.

At Northampton Magistrates Court on December 1, Robert Liddington (aged 74) of Norton Crescent was prosecuted for the third time by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) for failing to comply with a Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice served in 2012.

After pleading guilty, Liddington was fined £500, ordered to pay SNC’s £1,000 costs, £200 compensation to the complainant, and £200 in criminal court and victim surcharges.

Environmental health officers from SNC originally served the notice on Liddington on 25 September 2012 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which required him to stop the nuisance and prevent it happening again.

Further complaints about the dog barking noise were received and contraventions of the notices were substantiated with further recordings by SNC officers in April, June and July 2015.

Reports also show that neighbours had to keep windows and doors closed at the height of the summer heat just to block out the noise.

Councillor Dermot Bambridge, portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “If a complaint is made to the council, then we have a duty to investigate it and wherever possible we will always try and resolve the issue amicably.

“However despite previous convictions, Liddington has still allowed the seven dogs at his property to be a source of constant intrusion and harassment into the neighbours’ home lives. Therefore in cases like this where someone chooses to ignore the law, we will take them to court.”

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 dogs are allowed to bark, but they are not allowed to bark so that it causes a Statutory Nuisance. The factors that may be taken into account include the volume, duration of the barking and the time of day it happens among others.

To report a noisy dog, you can contact the Council’s Environmental Protection team by emailing environmental.protection@southnorthants.gov.uk or visiting www.southnorthants.gov.uk/2287 and filling in an on-line form, or you can call them on 01327 322323.