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Noise nuisance neighbour pays the price

An inconsiderate Walthamstow woman who caused those living close to her to complain 200 times over a three year period about her repeatedly playing thumping music has paid the price for her anti-social behaviour.

Prosecuted in November last year for seven offences relating to noise nuisance, serial offender Sonia Dormer of Wetherden Street, Walthamstow seemingly didn’t learn her lesson. A year ago a District Judge forfeited various items such as a seized stereo and Karaoke equipment and ordered her to pay over £1,000 in combined fines and costs.

She even told the District Judge when she was advised to keep the noise down, ‘I’ll try’. However, twelve months later she was back in court facing three further charges relating to breaches of a noise abatement notice.

On 11 November this year Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court fined Ms Dormer £140 and ordered her to pay a £20 Victim Surcharge, the criminal court charge of £520 and the Council’s full costs of £2,092.

A date has also been set in January for the Council’s application for a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) to be heard. CBOs give communities the ability to deal with persistently anti-social individuals and should the court impose a CBO and the terms of it are breached (without reasonable excuse) this will constitute a further criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for a period up to five years, or a fine, or both.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “Residents who give little or no consideration to the people around them, like this individual, are rapidly finding out that their behaviour will simply not be tolerated. Not in this borough.

“Earlier this year we introduced our Neighbourhoods model, strengthening the relationship between our Neighbourhoods Officers and our residents so that we can work in partnership to address issues that blight communities.

“These can range from problems with fly-tipping, dog fouling or bin collections to planning issues, rogue landlords – for whom we have also recently introduced our licensing system – and of course noise nuisance.”

In addition to the recent heavy fine and costs award, the court also allowed further forfeiture of seized equipment and granted a collection order for payment of the £2,772 bill Ms Dormer will have to foot.

The collection order allows the court to enforce should Ms Dormer fail to make payments, including the potential for measures such as making deductions from her earnings or benefits, increasing the fine by up to 50 per cent, or even allowing Court Bailiffs to seize goods.

Photo: Councillor Clyde Loakes with some of the confiscated equipment.

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