Search

Kennels owner tells of noise row conviction’s ‘terrible’ impact

PUBLISHED: 16:33 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:09 19 February 2020

Sharon Tidnam at Low Farm Boarding Kennels. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Sharon Tidnam at Low Farm Boarding Kennels. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A woman appealing a conviction for failing to stop dogs in her kennels barking and annoying her neighbours said the case had had a “terrible” impact on her.

Sharon Tidnam was convicted on June 26 of breaching a court order made the previous year to halt noise nuisance from her boarding kennels at Low Farm, Topcroft, near Long Stratton.

Mrs Tidnam was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to her neighbour Matthew McNiff and left with a £93,000 legal bill.

Mr McNiff of Manor Farm, Rectory Road, had made recordings of dogs repeatedly barking on his iPhone.

Taking the stand for the first time at King's Lynn Crown Court, Mrs Tidnam was asked by defence counsel Saba Naqshbandi how the case had affected her.

"It's been terrible," she said. "I don't sleep, I've lost weight, it's upset me so much."

Mrs Tidnam said in evidence she had lived at Low Farm for 43 years. She said in 1988, her husband had suggested starting a boarding kennels in a redundant pig sty on the farm.

Mrs Tidnam said she had received no complaints until Mr McNiff and his wife Sarah did so in 2016. She said until then, the couples had been close friends.

Recordings of barking dogs made on iPhones were produced in evidence during last June's trial.

But on Tuesday, the court heard recordings made on the devices were enhanced to "maximise" the sound available.

Acoustic engineer Steven Gosling said: "It's like brightening up a photo using an auto filter, it's not a copy of what existed."

He added in tests he had carried out the device performed a "very substantial level of enhancement".

But under cross examination by Miles Bennett, for Mr McNiff, Mr Gosling agreed the tests had been carried out on a different variant of the iPhone to the models used to record the dogs barking.

And Mr Gosling agreed while the phone might tamper with the evidence, it would not make it up.

Mr Bennett said recordings made on the phones corroborated Mr McNiff's log of dates and times when he had heard barking.

"If the dog isn't barking at all, the iPhone doesn't invent a bark, does it," he said.

The case, before Judge Philip Shorrock, continues on Wednesday.

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Most Read

Latest from the Beccles and Bungay Journal