A man whose dogs kept neighbours awake at night through their barking has been fined £300.
John Barrett, from Essex, admitted the charges of failing to comply with a noise abatement notice that ordered that he kept the dogs quiet at night.
The notice was issued on September 28th last year after the council received several complaints from neighbouring residents about Barrett’s Jack Russell and German Sheppard, Colchester Magistrates Court heard. The dogs were still barking continuously, keeping neighbours awake, so on November 15th the council installed recording equipment into his neighbours’ properties.
One of the complaints that they received had come from Brian Hockley, 71, who suffered attacks of anxiety and nervousness brought on by the barking dogs after been deprived from sleep.
The dogs’ barking was recorded a total of 63 times in 8 days, from November 22nd to November 30th. The barking was recorded from 9pm to 7am the following morning.
Barrett did not appear in court, but released a statement saying that he could not hear the barking when he was asleep because he wore headphones and suffered from tinnitus. He claimed that the first he knew about a problem was when he received the letter from the council.
He had tried several methods to stop the dogs barking, including paying almost £900 in obedience classes. He has since given the dogs up to other homes.
After the court hearing neighbour Mr Hockley said:
“It was absolute hell. It was all day long while he was at work, but it got particularly bad at night.”
“I couldn’t sleep and it was a big problem. I became quite ill, so I had to get hold of the environmental people. I’m so relieved it’s over.”
“Mr Barrett took the dogs and found them different homes. I’ve got nothing against him. He’s a nice lad and he did exactly what he said he would.”
Barrett was fined £150 pounds with costs of the same amount and paid a £15 victim surcharge. Stopping your dogs from barking at night isn’t easy once they’ve formed the habit, but with dog training from an early age it shouldn’t be a problem.
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