A noisy neighbour has been prosecuted after a year of terrorising neighbours. Rudolf Horvath made so much noise that his neighbours became unwell, and their children’s school performance suffered. Appearing in court on 2 August 2018, Mr Horvath was prosecuted for two offences of failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice under the Antisocial Crime and Policing Act 2014. He was ordered to pay £160 in fines, £150 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
The Council received its first complaints about noise from the property on Chestnut Avenue in August 2017. The noisy neighbours were sent warning letters but complaints continued, as the lives of nearby families continued to be disturbed. In November, Mr Horvath was served a Community Protection Notice requiring him and his family to stop playing loud music, banging, shouting and making excessive noise.
Nonetheless, the noise continued and a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £100 was hand delivered to the property. The family chose to ignore the FPN and never paid it, deciding instead to continue tormenting their neighbours with excessive noise.
After further complaints from distressed neighbours, Mr Horvath was served with a Noise Abatement Order under The Environmental Protection Act 1990. Even this action wouldn’t be enough to persuade the family to behave more considerately.
However, on the 5th of May this year, the submission of another noise recording would prove to be the final straw. In the recording, a single song was heard repeatedly at an excessive volume.
A warrant was obtained which allowed the Council to seize a keyboard, speaker and TV from his home so that neighbouring residents could finally have some peace and quiet. Following the seizure Mr Horvath was summoned to appear in court.
In the last 12 months, 849 noise complaints have been received by the Council from Derby residents with 539 complaining specifically about noisy behaviour and loud music. Noise remains the number one annoyance for people in the UK and there is growing evidence of the impact of noise on public health.
According to the World Health Organisation Environmental noise exposure is responsible for a range of health effects, including increased risk of ischaemic heart disease as well as sleep disturbance, cognitive impairment among children, annoyance, stress-related mental health risks, and tinnitus.
Councillor Matthew Holmes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection commented:
“Our residents have the right to feel safe and relaxed in their own homes. Anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to behave in this way by creating excessive noise and disturbing neighbours, to the point it affects their wellbeing, is sadly mistaken. As this prosecution shows, we will take the appropriate action to address issues such as noise so that our residents can live happy, healthy lives.”