Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Owner fined for 23 barking dogs in Witney

Three bulldogs in a cage
Environmental Health officers found 23 dogs at the house in Witney

A man who kept 23 dogs at his home in Oxfordshire has been prosecuted for failing to stop them barking.

Roger Sutton, 62, of Colwell Drive, Witney, was found guilty on 5 March of failing to comply with a requirement of a noise abatement notice.

Magistrates in Witney ordered him to pay a £2,000 fine and £500 legal costs.

The notice was issued in March last year following an investigation by Environmental Health officers after neighbours complained about the noise.

Noise nuisance

It was discovered that Sutton was keeping Dorset Old Tyme bulldogs both inside his home and in seven cages in his rear garden.

The notice required him to take measures to prevent the dogs causing a noise nuisance.

However, West Oxfordshire District Council continued to receive complaints from neighbouring properties throughout last summer and legal proceedings were launched in September 2009 for breach of the notice.

Cllr Jill Dunsmore, Cabinet Member for Communities at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: "The council worked hard to try to resolve this problem and we were left with no option but to take legal action in order to try to protect the residents whose lives have been so badly affected by these noise problems.

"We are encouraged by the outcome of the court hearing and will continue to monitor the situation.

"Everyone has the right to enjoy peace and quiet in their homes and, while this is an extreme case, we take noise complaints very seriously."

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