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Owners of noisy dogs pay heavy price in court

Published: Thursday, 31 March, 2022

Two separate Leonard Stanley residents have recently appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on charges relating to their persistent failure to stop their dogs from causing a noise nuisance.

On Monday 7th March, Anita Wall pleaded guilty to non-compliance with an Abatement Notice served in April 2019 by the Environmental Protection team at Stroud District Council, which required the noise of her dogs to be reduced to reasonable levels.

She had already previously been prosecuted and fined in late 2019 for non-compliance with the notice but complaints still continued to be received, in particular relating to dogs barking very early in the mornings. It was therefore decided that a further prosecution was necessary to address the situation.

At her second trial, she entered a guilty plea on the day of the trial and was fined £300, and ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Julie Groves was also charged with non-compliance with an Abatement Notice, served in July 2020 by the Environmental Protection team. Similarly, the Notice required that the noise from her dogs must be reduced to reasonable levels. Numerous reports of nuisance noise continued to be received and so a prosecution was deemed necessary to address the continued non-compliance. Ms Groves entered a not guilty plea but at trial was found guilty of offences by the Court and fined £870 as part of a total financial penalty of more than £7,800 including £6906.80 costs.

That case was heard on March 8 and sentencing adjourned to March 22.
Additionally, for the Wall case an interim Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) was put in place to require actions from her to address the immediate noise issues and to explore longer-term solutions such as behavioural training for the dogs. The court will decide at further hearings in the coming weeks whether the CBO against Ms Wall should be made final and will also consider whether a CBO should also be made against Ms Groves.

Speaking after sentencing, Chair of SDC Environment Committee, Councillor Chloe Turner said: “The Council takes very seriously all cases where officers prove a noise nuisance and, if formal notices are served and not complied with, these cases demonstrate very clearly that we are prepared to prosecute offenders.

“The Stroud district is a wonderful place to have pets, and most residents are proud and responsible dog owners. Sometimes, however, noise from dog barking is not well managed, which can have a very disruptive impact on the lives of neighbours. In those cases, the Council works to seek a resolution which can, for the most serious and sustained cases, sometimes lead to legal action.”

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