Cockerel owner blasts 'waste of public money'By Victoria Smith
March 01, 2012
A 77-year-old man has slammed the “ridiculous waste of public money” after he was taken to court and fined over the noise caused by his two cockerels.
The birds landed Henry Purvey of Wellington Road in Sandhurst, in trouble for failing to adhere to warnings from Bracknell Forest Council that they were disturbing the peace.
Henry, who has lived in the road for 47 years and always kept birds, said this is the first time he had had any complaints.
He was fined £150 and ordered to pay £500 costs, plus a £15 victim surcharge, at Reading Magistrates Court on Thursday, February 23.
He had initially denied charges of failing to comply with a noise abatement notice given by the council after neighbours complained.
In court, he changed his plea and admitted three charges.
Henry believes it was one neighbour in particular who waged a campaign against him and said other people living nearby did not have any problems with the birds.
The complaints about regular and repeated crowing were received in April 2010 and in the July, Henry was served with a noise abatement notice, telling him to keep the birds quiet between 10pm and 7am.
He says there is no way of keeping them quiet and neighbours continued to complain about the cockerels crowing through the night.
An inspector visited and recorded 83 separate crows between 6am and 7am on Tuesday, June 7, last year, and 97 crows during the ‘silent’ hours over the next two days.
Henry said: “It’s a ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money – what do we pay for? This?
“I’ve lived here for 47 years and no-one has ever complained. Then someone takes against them and I end up in court.”
Henry said he would pay the fine, but would not give up his birds.
He added: “It’s totally pathetic that money is wasted like this and that people complain about these things.
“But I’ll pay the fine and get on with it.”
David Steeds, Bracknell Forest Council’s head of environmental health said: “Residents have every right to a peaceful night’s sleep.
“Noise, whether it’s from a cockerel crowing at dawn or a very loud party late into the night, can be very distressing and we will make every effort to ensure people who break the law are prosecuted.”