Media release - issued 16 May 2018

Noisy neighbour prosecuted for breaching abatement notice

Breaching a noise abatement order by playing loud music cost a Farnborough woman more than £300 when she appeared in court.

Caroline Beauchamp (48) of Shelley Rise, Farnborough, was found guilty of two offences of causing a noise nuisance by breaching a noise abatement notice when she appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 10 May, in a successful prosecution brought by Rushmoor Borough Council. She was found not guilty of a third similar charge. Beauchamp was fined £180 and ordered to pay a contribution of £100 towards the council's cost and a £30 victim surcharge.

The court heard that in October 2014, following a number of complaints about loud music and raised voices, Rushmoor Borough Council served a noise abatement notice on Beauchamp.

However, the notice was breached in July 2015 and Beauchamp was taken to court in February 2016, where she admitted two offences of breaching a noise abatement notice. She was given a two-year conditional discharge. But in August and September 2017, officers at Rushmoor Borough Council were called out three more times to investigate further breaches.

Following the trial on Thursday, District Judge Pattinson found Beauchamp guilty of two offences of breaching a noise abatement order and not guilty of a third. The judge did not accept her argument that she had a reasonable excuse because the walls of her property were "paper thin" and that she had asked her daughter to turn the music down.

District Judge Pattinson said that Rushmoor Borough Council had been right to bring the  prosecution and reminded Beauchamp that the abatement notice remains in force.

Councillor Maurice Sheehan, Rushmoor Borough Council's Cabinet member for Operational  Services, said: "I'm very pleased that our environmental health officers have brought this case in front of the courts and I thank the District Judge for reaffirming this as the correct course of action. Too many residents face misery from the unreasonable and intrusive behaviour of the few. People have a right to live in peace and quiet without being subject to noise nuisance."

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