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Villagers to launch fundraiser for kennels owner facing £96,000 bill over dog noise

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 06 August 2019

Supporters of Topcroft kennels owner Sharon Tidnam outside Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday July 30 2019. Photo: Archant

Supporters of Topcroft kennels owner Sharon Tidnam outside Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Tuesday July 30 2019. Photo: Archant

Archant

Villagers are set to meet in support of a woman who faces forking out £96,000 after losing a court battle over dog noise.

Topcroft Low Farm kennels owner Sharon Tidnam with friend and neighbour Kathy Thomson. Picture: ArchantTopcroft Low Farm kennels owner Sharon Tidnam with friend and neighbour Kathy Thomson. Picture: Archant

Villagers are set to meet in support of a woman who faces forking out £96,000 after losing a court battle over dog noise.

Sharon Tidnam, of Low Farm, Topcroft, was found guilty of breaching a court order to halt noise nuisance from her kennels.

Her neighbour, barrister Matthew McNiff, had made hundreds of iPhone recordings of dogs barking, yelling and whining.

Last week, Great Yarmouth magistrates' ordered her to pay £3,000 compensation to her neighbour - and to pay his court costs of £93,000 within three months.

Prosecutor Miles Bennett said sentencing and punishment "was the least important concern" for Mr McNiff, adding: "The primary concern is why it's taken so long to remedy the issue.

"This was not an occasional breach over a short period of time," he said.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Tidnam said: "The expense and having to pay in three months, I have limited means. The only money I have got is what's coming in the future, I have no savings."

A number of residents of the village have now arranged to meet at the village hall to discuss how they can help Mrs Tidnam.

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The meeting's organiser Nicola Eastell said: "We are absolutely unified, we all stand in support of her. Initially, people are talking about launching a fundraiser to help pay the costs.

"She's just broken, she is absolutely broken, she doesn't know what she is going to do."

She added: "The court also told her to pay his court costs of £93,000 within three months - you can't even get your paperwork together by then. Really, we want our voices to be heard. I was asked to get a meeting together by so many people because they want to help.

"She is a vital part of the community and people come from miles to use her kennels. She is very well respected and very well thought of by the community and the customers."

Mrs Eastell said more than 100 people were expected to attend the meeting at Topcroft Pavilion, on Wednesday night (August 7) which will take place at 7.30pm.

Mr McNiff has declined to comment since the case concluded.

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