A Burnley couple has been fined by magistrates after being found guilty of allowing a barking dog to cause a nuisance.
The court was told that evidence showed that the Alsatian could be barking up to 12 hours per day and appeared to bark frequently and persistently on a daily basis.
James Gorton and Rachel Driver were each fined £110 and each ordered to pay £624.05 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge for failing to comply with an abatement notice.
The defendants failed to attend the hearing and the case was proved in their absence. The prosecution was brought by Burnley Council.
The court was told that in August 2018 the council received a complaint about a dog barking in the garden of a house in Montague Road, Burnley.
The complainant said she and her husband were being affected by the barking which was a very deep loud bark as the dog was an Alsatian. The dog was left out in the garden and its barking was so persistent it affected their enjoyment of daily life.
The council sent a letter to the defendants who occupied the house, informing them of the complaints received of the prolonged and repeated barking and howling of a dog.
Further complaints were received from other residents during September 2018.
The council installed sound recording equipment at the complainant’s address and upon listening to the recordings the evidence showed that a statutory nuisance had occurred.
The defendants were served with an Abatement Notice under Section 80 Environmental Protection Act 1990 which required them, within seven days, to prohibit the recurrence of the prolonged and repeated barking of a dog at the premises.
Further sound equipment was installed at the complainant’s home and evidence was gathered that showed the abatement notice had been breached on several days in December 2018.
The court was told that a council environmental health officer described the barking as prolonged, continuous, regular, frequent, persistent and loud from early mornings through to evenings and this, in his qualified opinion, would be enough to disrupt the enjoyment of the average person enjoying their property.
Gorton phoned the officer and claimed that his dog wasn’t doing anything wrong as it was patrolling the area and stopping people breaking in.
Driver sent the council an email stating that they knew their dog barked but only when someone was on the back street. They had tried muzzling him but he could still bark whilst muzzled.