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Couple fined for sending neighbours barking mad

A couple from St Helens has been fined by magistrates for allowing their dogs to persistently bark.

John and Anne Lake of Park Street, Haydock were ordered to pay a total of £550 after pleading guilty by post at Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how St Helens Council’s Environmental Health team was forced to take action after residents reported nuisance dog barking at the Lakes’ property last year.

As part of their investigation, Environmental Health installed noise monitoring equipment in the area which confirmed residents’ complaints – resulting in the Lakes being hit with a noise abatement notice in October 2016.

The couple failed to comply with the notice so St Helens Council sought court action, and on Friday 31 March – despite disputing some of the complaints – John and Anne Lake pleaded guilty to the offence.

Taking their guilty plea into account, magistrates deducted a third of their fine, which worked out as an £80 fine with £80 costs and a £30 victim surcharge for Anne Lake to pay – while John Lake was required to pay a £250 fine with £80 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Welcoming the prosecution, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for green, smart and sustainable borough, councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron, said: “Excessive dog barking is enough to drive anyone up the wall, and it is clear from this incident that residents had had enough.

“Hopefully this outcome will act as a costly reminder to dog owners that they have a responsibility to keep their pets under control, because we will not hesitate to take action if they fail to do so.”

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