Barking dogs see owner landed with large fine

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A dog owner in Southam has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 for failing to prevent his animals from persistently barking, following a prosecution by Stratford District Council.

Samuel Hawkins, 40, Manager of Five, a public house in Daventry Street, Southam kept up to six Rottweiler type dogs on the premises.

Mr Hawkins had been issued with a community protection notice requiring him to remove all dogs from outside the property and put them inside after 11pm, as well as taking reasonable steps to prevent them from persistently or excessively barking at all times.

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.

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.’

Following complaints, Mr Hawkins was prosecuted in his absence at Nuneaton Magistrates Court on 7th January

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.

The court heard that the noise level readings of the dogs barking was between 60-65 decibels.

After reviewing the evidence, Magistrates found Mr Hawkins guilty of 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, bringing the total figure to £9,304 with payment due within 14 days.

Cllr Anne Parry, Regulatory Services Portfolio 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.”

  • wicked messenger

    Presumably assumed he was above the law. An expensive lesson for him!