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Harlow Council secures prosecution against Arkwrights noisy neighbour Emma Cooke

Communities / Sat 7th Jun 2014 am30 09:37am

A PERSISTENT noisy neighbour in Harlow has been ordered to pay a total of just over £3,000 in fines, costs, and victim surcharges, and had their music equipment seized after being found guilty of breaching a noise abatement notice for the second time in three months.

Emma Cooke of Arkwrights was originally served with a noise abatement notice on 1 July 2013, following complaints from residents, which required her to take steps to ensure she didn’t cause a noise nuisance. However, on 24 September 2013 Council Environmental Health Officers witnessed a breach of the noise abatement notice and Ms Cooke was issued with a court summons. On 5 March 2014 Ms Cooke was found guilty and fined £100 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs to the Council and a £20 victim surcharge.

A further offence took place on 9 January 2014, when Council Environmental Health Officers witnessed loud music and shouting coming from Ms Cooke’s property after 11pm. The Council obtained a warrant from the court on 15 January, which was executed at Ms Cooke’s home with the help of the Police, on 17 January. Officers seized noisemaking equipment, which included 11 speakers, a mini hi-fi system and a DVD player.

Ms Cooke pleaded not guilty to the breach on 9 January and a trial was listed for Monday (2 June 2014). Ms Cooke did not attend. Despite pleading not guilty she was fined £400 in her absence and ordered to pay £1,500 costs and a £40 victim surcharge. Harlow Council has seized the noisemaking equipment and subsequently been granted a forfeiture order by the magistrates court.

Commenting on the case, Councillor Phil Waite, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “This case shows that people do not have to put up with their neighbours playing loud music and shouting late at night. Harlow’s residents are entitled to enjoy their homes in peace and the Council will act to protect that right where necessary.

“If anyone in Harlow is suffering because of noisy neighbours I would urge them to report it to the Council so that we can help maintain a safe, healthy noise environment for everyone living and working in the town.”

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