Village gathers to rally around business owner fined for her noisy dogs
PUBLISHED: 21:26 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 21:26 07 August 2019
A village have gathered to show support for a local business owner who has been ordered to pay £96,000 after losing a court battle over dog noise.
Sharon Tidnam, of Low Farm, Topcroft, was found guilty of breaching a court order to halt noise nuisance from her kennels.
Her neighbour, barrister Matthew McNiff, had made hundreds of iPhone recordings of dogs barking, yelling and whining.
Last week, Great Yarmouth magistrates' ordered her to pay £3,000 compensation to her neighbour - and to pay his court costs of £93,000 within three months.
But in a public meeting on Wednesday night at Topcroft Pavillion, in Topcroft, around one hundred supporters of Mrs Tidnam, who was not present, arrived at the village hall to discuss the outcome, as well as the evidence which was presented in court.
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The organisers replayed the iPhone recordings of the dogs barking, whining and yelling from Low Farm.
After listening to them, one supporter said: "I know there has not been any noise, I know other people that live that far away but have not been affected by that noise."
While another said: "We are all here in support; because it is clear what's happening is wrong."
Margaret Attlee, from Hempnall, asked supporters to fill in a form detailing the level of disturbance from the kennel in the hope there might be an appeal to the decision.
She said: "This is terribly important, because we all believe Sharon, quite reasonably, was not in breach of that order, and that is what she has been found guilty of."
Nicola Eastell, the meetings organiser said: "We are here today to see if there is a way forward. A lot of people are asking about crowd funding, at the moment - it is going reasonably well, we have got around £500."
In the earlier hearing, prosecutor Miles Bennett said sentencing and punishment "was the least important concern" for Mr McNiff, adding: "This was not an occasional breach over a short period of time," he said. Mr McNiff has declined to comment on the case.