Andrew Watts appeared at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, May 21, where pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a noise abetment notice. The charges related to howling and barking from 14 dogs kept in kennels at his property, which had been the subject of complaints to Torridge District Council's environmental health team. The kennels were used to house spaniels and Hungarian Vizslas. After several warnings and a noise abatement notice served in November last year, complaints continued. Four neighbours had given witness statements detailing the noise and the impact it had had on them. Mr Watts was fined a total of £1,936, which included a £100 victim surcharge and £836 in costs. He indicated that the dogs had since been removed from the premises. Torridge District Council's lead member for the environment, Councillor Ken James, said the prosecution sent a 'clear message' to those generating 'unacceptable levels of noise'. He added: "The Council will take firm and swift action where this occurs and particularly where warnings and advice go unheeded. "Nobody should suffer from the thoughtless actions of their neighbours and hopefully these cases will act as a warning to others."