Bar bosses lose appeal over noise convictions

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A pair of club bosses in The Hub who failed to heed repeated warnings to keep music levels down have failed in their bid to overturn a conviction.

In the summer of 2011, Abdul Massobir and Anfor Farooque, who run Cafés & Bars MK Ltd, trading as the Park Lane Club, were found guilty in their absence of breaching a statutory noise nuisance Abatement Notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

City magistrates fined them £500 and £400, plus costs of £500 and £400 respectively. Both were also charged with a £15 victim surcharge coming to a total of £1830.

At the time the court heard that in spring 2011, local residents started complaining about noise coming from the club. Environmental health officers from Milton Keynes Council met with the owners, who had agreed to install a noise limiter.

But the complaints continued and in May the council’s enforcement team issued a Statutory Noise Nuisance Abatement Notice. However, the problems continued.

Following the conviction in March 2013, which was heard in their absence, Mr Massobir and Mr Farooque appealed, and this week both men appeared again before a District Judge to face a retrial over the allegations.

After a one day trial they were again convicted and fined £100 each as well as being ordered to pay £1,000 costs each. The lower fine was given because of the pair’s low means.

In summing up the case, Deputy District Judge James Tindal said: “There was a simple way in which this business could have ensured compliance – they could have turned the noise down.”

Karen Ford, head of the council’s Regulatory Unit, said: “It is a pity that in this instance warnings were not taken seriously and it has ended in the criminal conviction of the company director and operations manager.

“We are pleased that the judge overseeing this appeal has upheld our original actions and we hope this will send a clear message out that people have a right to live in relative peace and quiet, and businesses and residents alike have a duty to respect that.”