Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Court hears couple's sex sessions

Caroline Cartwright and her husband Steve
A recording of the Cartwrights having sex was played in court

A court was played a 10 minute recording of a Wearside couple whose nightly sex sessions were said to have ruined the lives of neighbours.

Caroline and Steve Cartwright's love making was described as "murder" and "unnatural" at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mrs Cartwright, 48, from Washington, is appealing against a conviction for breaching a noise abatement notice against the couple.

A judge and two magistrates adjourned the hearing until Tuesday.

Mrs Cartwright is using Article 8 of the Human Rights Act to argue she has a right to "respect for her private and family life".

'Considerable pain'

Next door neighbour Rachel O'Connor told the court she was frequently late for work because she overslept having been awake most of the night because of the noise.

She said: "It is not very pleasant living there and it has been quite stressful.

Rachel O'Connor
Rachel O'Connor said the sex sessions sounded "unnatural"

"The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain. I cannot describe the noise. I have never ever heard anything like it."

Specialist equipment installed in Miss O'Connor's flat by Sunderland City Council recorded noise levels of between 30 to 40 decibels, with the highest being 47 decibels.

Giving evidence, unemployed Mrs Cartwright said she was unable to control the noise she made during sex.

She said: "After I got the Noise Abatement Notice I tried to control it. I even tried to use a pillow (over her face) to try and lessen the noise.

"I did not understand why people asked me to be quiet because to me it is normal. I didn't understand where they were coming from."

The case continues.

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