Strangers donate thousands of pounds to kennel owner caught in £96,000 legal case

Sharon Tidnam has lodged an appeal after losing a court battle with her neighbour over dog noise at

Sharon Tidnam has lodged an appeal after losing a court battle with her neighbour over dog noise at her Topcroft kennels. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Strangers have donated hundreds of pounds to a kennels owner to help with a legal appeal after she lost a £96,000 court case.

Supporters of Topcroft kennels owner Sharon Tidnam outside Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday Jul

Supporters of Topcroft kennels owner Sharon Tidnam outside Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday July 30 2019. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

Sharon Tidnam has lodged an appeal after losing a court battle with her neighbour over noise at her kennels at Low Farm, Topcroft.

Barrister Matthew McNiff made hundreds of recordings from his home half-a-mile away of dogs "howling and barking" in a bid to prove Mrs Tidnam had breached a noise nuisance order imposed by Norwich Magistrates Court.

At her sentencing last month, she was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to Mr McNiff as well as his legal costs of £93,000 within three months.

More than 100 people met in support of Mrs Tidnam at a public meeting in Topcroft on August 7.

Sharon Tidnam with husband Russell outside Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Photo: Archant

Sharon Tidnam with husband Russell outside Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A Go Fund Me page was created in a bid to raise money for her court bill, which has so far accrued more than £2,000 with some supporters donating between £100 and £500 at a time.

Supporter and friend Nicola Eastall said: "She has had complete strangers handing her £5 to help with her appeal and wishing her well.


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"Mrs Tidnam has had a great many letters of support and offers of donations to help with her plight which she has found extremely heartening in what has been a devastating time for her and her family."

She added: "People have been donating small amounts but they are people she doesn't even know."

Topcroft Low Farm kennels owner Sharon Tidnam looks after up to 25 dogs. Picture: Archant

Topcroft Low Farm kennels owner Sharon Tidnam looks after up to 25 dogs. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

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Mrs Tidnam, 62, said the support has been overwhelming, adding: "People from a long way away have heard my story and I've had people email and call, it's been amazing really.

"Everybody I have spoken to have said the same thing - they can't believe what has happened. People want to help, they want to donate.

"People are asking how I have kept going, but because of all the support I've had I don't see how I can give up."

Mr McNiff was previously good friends with Mrs Tidnam but brought a private prosecution against her in 2018 over the noise.

Supports met at Topcroft Pavillion, Topcroft. Picture: Greta Levy

Supports met at Topcroft Pavillion, Topcroft. Picture: Greta Levy - Credit: Archant

She was then found guilty at a hearing in June of breaching a nuisance order and told to pay Mr McNiff's £93,000 legal costs.

Her solicitor accused Mr McNiff of taking a "Rolls Royce" approach by employing expensive solicitors.

Low Farm Boarding Kennels. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Low Farm Boarding Kennels. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

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