Woman with nearly 100 dogs fined for noise

A TORRIDGE woman who kept nearly 100 dogs has been fined for disturbing neighbours with their howling and barking. Diana Curtis, 52, of Winswell, near Peters Marland, admitted at Barnstaple Magistrates Court to breaking a noise abatement notice issued by

A TORRIDGE woman who kept nearly 100 dogs has been fined for disturbing neighbours with their howling and barking.

Diana Curtis, 52, of Winswell, near Peters Marland, admitted at Barnstaple Magistrates Court to breaking a noise abatement notice issued by Torridge District Council.

She was fined �3,000 and ordered to pay �300 costs, but magistrates reduced the fine to �2,000 because of her early 'guilty' plea.

Residents complained about the constant noise coming from Ms Curtis' property.


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The court heard that the district council had issued the noise abatement order and installed monitoring equipment at a nearby property as part of its investigation. During one visit, a council officer reported that the dogs could be heard about 2km away.

Ms Curtis described the dogs as her "best friends" and said it had never been her intention to annoy anyone. She admitted having as many as 95 animals roaming her land at one point, but denied they barked continuously.

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It is understood that she has started to reduce the number of animals at the property, with a local animal charity helping to re-home some of them.

Torridge District Council's Lead Member for Environmental Health, Cllr Barry Parsons, said: "Council officers have tried hard, over many months, to resolve the noise problems by seeking the co-operation of Miss Curtis. Unfortunately, it became clear that this approach was not working. Given the severity of the disturbance being suffered by neighbours it was felt appropriate that the council take court action.

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