Their dogs barked non-stop for four hours – and cost noisy York neighbours £5K

A pair of Jack Russell terriers like those at the centre of the noise abatement case. Photograph © Steve-65 on Wikimedia
3 Sep 2015 @ 5.00 pm
| News

The constant yapping of two dogs landed a York couple in court – and with a bill for more than £5,000.

After being driven mad with the continuous barking, neighbours of Brenda and Brian Golding, on Holly Bank Road, York, contacted City of York Council’s noise patrol.

Officers left recording equipment at a neighbouring house. On a visit in November 2014 they heard the pair of Jack Russell terriers bark 43 times a minute.

The neighbours reported that the dogs could yap for up to four hours at a time.

After recording the incessant barking, the council’s neighbourhood enforcement team issued the Goldings with a noise abatement notice ordering the noise to stop.

On February 11 this year, officers visited again and witnessed noise levels and volumes similar to those monitored in September and November 2014.

In April and twice in May, neighbours residents reported constant barking again.

Forced to leave home

Holly Bank Road, York. Photograph © Google Street View
Holly Bank Road, York. Photograph © Google Street View

One neighbour said their recovery from illness had been affected by the noise which sometimes forced them to leave their home until the owners returned and quietened the animals.

The victims had rented out their home over a nine year period and found that the dogs’ noise had caused their tenants to leave.

Brenda and Brian Golding were summonsed to York Magistrates Court, but did not attend or reply to the summons.

On Wednesday (September 3) they were convicted in their absence of four charges each of contravening a noise abatement notice by not stopping their dogs barking.

Blighting people’s lives

When interviewed by officers, Brenda Golding, 51, said she and her 53-year-old husband Bran had bought their dogs calming medication including sprays.

They had also tried leaving the radio on when they had to go out.

Magistrates fined each £1,600, plus a £160 statutory surcharge, plus £150 court costs, plus £647.45 prosecution costs: a total of £5,114.90.

Councillor David Carr, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said:

Excessive and persistent noise can blight people’s lives: in this case it affected neighbours’ health and their business.

Despite being cautioned and given advice, this couple continued to allow this noise to persist and the outcome of this case makes it clear that we will work with the courts to uphold the law.