Released on 14 January 2020 Archived Press Release
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has successfully prosecuted a dog owner from Southam for a breach of a Community Protection Notice.
Samuel Hawkins, 40, Manager of Five, a public house in Daventry Street, Southam kept up to six Rottweiler type dogs on the premises. The Notice required Mr Hawkins to remove all the dogs from outside of the property and put them inside after 11pm and to take reasonable steps to prevent the dogs from persistently or excessively barking at all times.
Mr Hawkins was prosecuted in his absence at Nuneaton Magistrates Court on 7 January, following complaints.
Local neighbours, said that 'as a result of the persistent and excessive barking at all hours of the day and night over a prolonged period of time has affected their wellbeing and work.'
The Court also heard that the District Council had tried to resolve the matter by serving a Fixed Penalty Notice, but this was ignored by the Defendant.
The Magistrates agreed that the evidence produced by the Environmental Health Officer from the District Council, including recordings of the barking dogs played in Court, was credible. In sentencing they referred to the evidence - which stated that an acceptable level of noise from the World Health Organisation Guidelines would be 45 decibels, but the noise level readings from the dogs barking was between 60 and 65 decibels.
Given all the evidence, the Magistrates unanimously agreed that the evidence showed persistent and excessive noise and found Mr Hawkins guilty of the four offences under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The District Council's full costs of £3,134.14 were awarded and a fine of £1,500 for each offence was imposed making a total of £6,000. A victim's surcharge of £170 was also added to this figure, making a total figure of £9,304 with payment due within 14 days.
Cllr Anne Parry, Regulatory Services Portfolio says: "Dog owners need to be respectful of their neighbours and surroundings. Dogs that are barking excessively and causing a nuisance to neighbours need to be trained, and steps need to be put in place to improve the situation.
"This prosecution should highlight the responsibility that dog owners have and that the District Council won't hesitate to take legal action when it's needed."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575