[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Asbo musician freed after 64 days
Barrington Harris
Barrington Harris spent 64 days in custody for breaching an Asbo
A musician who missed his mother's funeral after being locked up for playing loud music after midnight has been released after 64 days.

Barrington Harris, 47, of Flint, north Wales, was warned that he would be jailed for further breaches an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

Harris had been remanded in custody since June after loud music was heard from his flat, in breach of the Asbo.

At Mold Crown Court Judge Roger Dutton said he was "a pain to his neighbours".

Harris was before the court for the second breach of the five-year order, imposed because he had failed to comply with an earlier noise abatement notice served by Flintshire Council.

He was arrested after neighbours heard loud music coming from his flat. Police and an environmental health official heard singing and guitar music.

A later court hearing was told Band on the Run, by Paul McCartney's Wings, was clearly heard being played as late as 0030 BST.

Magistrates remanded Harris in custody until a trial date could be fixed after hearing that complaints about his behaviour stretched back to 1999.

They also rejected his defence counsel's appeal for him to be released on bail so he could attend his mother's funeral in July.

Harris pleaded guilty in August to breaching the Asbo.

'Guitar skills'

At the sentencing on Friday, Judge Dutton backed the bench's decision to hold Harris in custody, even though it meant he missed the funeral.

He said: "I can well understand why the magistrates remanded you in custody. You showed not the slightest inclination to abide by the order."

He said Harris had "completely and utterly disregarded" the Asbo and the sensitivities of his neighbours.

Judge Dutton sentenced Harris to 64 days' imprisonment, which meant Harris was released from custody immediately.

But he warned the defendant that if he breached the Asbo again "then the sentence will be considerably more than that".

He said the next time Harris wanted to play his favourite records then he should do so "on the top of Halkyn Mountain" so as not to disturb his neighbours.

'Eviction proceedings'

"Whatever you may think of your guitar playing skills, they don't think much of it at midnight," he said.

But Brett Williamson, defending, said his client felt "aggrieved" at his treatment.

He said Harris was an introvert and a solitary man who expressed himself through his guitar playing and at the time of his arrest had been mourning the death of his mother and his father, who had died 17 weeks previously.

"He tells me that he intends to return to his flat and then go to mourn his mother at her grave," he said.

"In the longer term he may lose his flat because the housing association had taken out eviction proceedings against him."

He added: "He takes the view that not since the days of the Taleban has Paul McCartney been banned."

'Loud' musician misses funeral
01 Jul 05 |  North East Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific