Five year noise ban for anti-social neighbour

A Salford man who played loud music through the night has been told he could be jailed if he doesn’t stop.

The 55 year old from Eccles ignored polite requests, official warnings and a legal notice to carry on blasting out dance music and playing his bass guitar until 3am.

Even when council officers seized hundreds of pounds worth of stereo equipment, a large screen television and speakers – he replaced it all with more speakers, another tv, amplifiers and a bass guitar, and carried on making a noise. Council officers executed another warrant and seized that equipment.

Magistrates were told the noise continued during the working week as well as at weekends.

Now they have backed the council’s application for the first ever criminal behaviour order against statutory noise nuisance in Greater Manchester. The order lasts five years and prevents the man from playing music or permitting music to be played at a level that can heard outside his property. They warned him that if he breaches the order he could be arrested and jailed.

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “This is an unprecedented case which could have been avoided with a bit of neighbourly consideration. If he had complied with the first polite request to keep the noise down none of this would have been necessary.

“We will always try to resolve noise complaints without resorting to the law but if people refuse to be reasonable and considerate then we will use our full powers. It is the first time we have used a criminal behaviour order to tackle noise nuisance but, if need be, it will not be the last time we use these powers. We will be monitoring the property and I hope the gentleman fully appreciates if he breaches the order he could be jailed. We will have no hesitation in going back to court if this nuisance doesn’t stop.”

Magistrates were told that complaints began early in 2019 and council officers went to speak to the man. At first he accepted he was being unreasonable but monitoring equipment showed the noise nuisance continued. As a result he was issued with an abatement notice, which he ignored.

In June environmental protection officers from Salford City Council got a warrant, entered the property and seized stereo equipment, numerous speakers and a large screen television, worth in total £959.

The man then replaced all the equipment and the noise continued. Council officers again used a warrant to seize equipment including a bass guitar, amplifier speakers and another large screen television, worth in total £580.

He again replaced all the equipment and continued to play music at unacceptable levels into the early hours.

The man was summonsed to court in October and found guilty in his absence, of eight breaches of an abatement notice issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Magistrates fined him £330 per offence – a total of £2,640, ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge and to forfeit the seized equipment.

On Wednesday 6 November the man unsuccessfully applied to the court to have the conviction set aside and the trial reheard. Magistrates reduced the level of the original fine from £330 to £50 per offence, imposed a £30 victim surcharge and made an order for £1,500 costs against him.

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Date published
Friday 8 November 2019

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