3rd Aug, 2020

Barking dogs land pub manager in court and having to pay more than £9,000

Editorial Correspondent 15th Jan, 2020 Updated: 15th Jan, 2020

A PUB manager’s barking dogs have cost him more than £9,000.

Samuel Hawkins, manager of Five in Southam, kept up to six Rottweiler type dogs on the premises of the Daventry Street pub.

A Community Protection Notice issued by Stratford District Council required Mr Hawkins to remove all the dogs from outside the property and put them inside after 11pm, and to take reasonable steps to prevent them from excessively barking at all times.

The 40-year-old was prosecuted in his absence at Nuneaton Magistrates Court following complaints from neighbours.

Fed-up residents said ‘persistent and excessive barking at all hours of the day and night over a prolonged period’ had affected both their ‘wellbeing and work.’

The court also heard the council had tried to resolve the matter by serving a Fixed Penalty Notice but it was ignored by Mr Hawkins.

The magistrates agreed the evidence produced by the council’s Environmental Health Officer, including recordings of the barking dogs played in court, was credible.

In sentencing they referred to the evidence – which stated 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.

Magistrates agreed the evidence showed persistent and excessive noise and found Mr Hawkins guilty of four offences under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act.

The council’s full costs of £3,134 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 the figure, making a total figure of £9,304 with payment due within 14 days.

District regulatory services spokeswoman Coun Anne Parry said: “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.”

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