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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Asbo verdict looms for cockerel
Charlie the cockerel
A decision should be made on the cockerel's fate in July
A court date has been set to determine whether to give a cockerel from Selkirk an anti-social behaviour order.

Scottish Borders Council failed in a bid to have an interim order placed on the bird at the town's sheriff court.

Evidence was put forward that Charlie's early morning crowing was at a volume above the World Health Organisation's guidelines for sleep disturbance.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond declined to grant an interim order and a full proof hearing has now been set for July.

The court heard that sound recordings of the cockerel's crow had been carried out at a neighbour's property on the outskirts of Selkirk.

It is not a laughing matter because it is very difficult to get any sleep around here
George MacFarlane
Neighbour

A total of 25 recordings were made during a two-week period in March next to the house where Kenneth "Ozzie" Williamson, 59, keeps the bird.

Many of the sounds recorded in the early hours of the morning ranged between 44 and 48 decibels.

Papers lodged with the court state that 44 decibels is 15 above the WHO's level for sleep disturbance for that time of day.

Mr Williamson's lawyer, Patricia Thom, admitted it had been difficult to get instructions from her client because he had been ill.

However, she added that he was disputing the level of recording and wanted council officials to come and take measurements from his home.

Ozzie Williamson
Mr Williamson said a lorry in the road made more noise than Charlie

Ian Davidson, acting on behalf of SBC, said it was something the authority could look at but it was still seeking an interim order.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond denied that request saying it would be "pre-determining the issue".

An intermediate hearing has now been fixed for 10 July ahead of the full proof hearing later that month.

After the latest legal debate, Mr Williamson said the council was welcome to take readings from his property.

"The whole thing is ridiculous," he said.

"More noise comes from a lorry passing on the road and who is to say the machine has not been moved and placed at an open window?"

George MacFarlane, 66, who runs a bed and breakfast business next door, said he was frustrated at yet another delay in any action getting taken.

Hard to sleep

He said there had been problems with the noise for three years.

"It is not just the one cockerel, he has got another two as well as two dogs and four geese," he said.

"This morning, for example, the dog started at 4am and the cockerel was a bit later for a change - he started at 4.20am.

"It is not a laughing matter because it is very difficult to get any sleep around here."




SEE ALSO
Asbo cockerel wins court reprieve
09 Sep 06 |  South of Scotland

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