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Barrister in dog noise dispute recorded 'barking, yelping and whining' on iPhone

PUBLISHED: 09:10 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 05 June 2019

Sharon Tidnam has been convicted of offences relating to noise from her kennels at Topcroft    

Photo: Archant

Sharon Tidnam has been convicted of offences relating to noise from her kennels at Topcroft Photo: Archant

A barrister made hundreds of iPhone recordings of dog noise coming from his neighbours' kennels as he collected evidence of "barking, yelping and whining", a court heard.

Matthew McNiff made the recordings in a bid to prove that Sharon Tidman had breached a previous court order made to halt noise nuisance from her kennels at Low Farm, Topcroft.

Tidnam was back before Norwich Magistrates Court yesterday and found guilty of, between August 1 and September 30 2018, breaching an order to prevent noise nuisance.

District Judge Malcolm Dodds said there were "innumerable" examples of dogs barking, yelping and whining at unsociable hours.

He referred to some of the iPhone recordings made by Mr McNiff of dogs barking during the period, including some as early as 5.21am and 5.31am.

Tidnam, 62, denied breaching the court order, but Judge Dodds said there was a "compelling case", adding: "There is noise and that's got to stop."

In August 2018, she was banned from keeping more than 25 dogs at her kennels after the "howling and barking" of dogs was ruled a statutory nuisance.

She was also banned from keeping dogs in kennels built in 2014 at the site, subject to works being carried out and approved by South Norfolk District Council.

She was found to have committed the offence between July 2016 and August 2017 following a case brought by Mr McNiff, who lives close to Low Farm.

He and his wife, who were once friends with the Tidnams, said the noise had destroyed the house they loved.

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At yesterday's breach hearing, Judge Dodds said it was a "sad case" involving "four deeply unhappy people".

He said there was a noise breach and three works breaches between October 2018 and February 2019.

Sentencing was adjourned to June 26 to allow Tidnam to arrange a meeting with experts to establish how to limit the noise.

Judge Dodds: "Two judges have found there's noise. If you're not going to appeal, let's put that to rest. There is noise and that's got to stop."

Earlier Miles Bennett, prosecuting, said the noise emanating from the kennels over a period of time "amounted to a statutory nuisance in breach of the order".

But the court heard a separate investigation by South Norfolk Council found that while there had been dogs barking, there was no nuisance.

Marcus Croskill, for Tidnam, said she had followed the district judge's orders to try and prevent noise.

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