A MAN has been fined after persistently disrupting his neighbours after playing Lewis Capaldi at 5.30am.

Darlington man Robert Harrison was found guilty of failing to comply with a community protection notice after failing to attend his hearing at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old persistently disturbed his neighbours by playing loud music at his property, the court heard.

Magistrates heard in the summer of 2019, officers from Darlington Borough Council’s environmental health team responded to complaints from several householders about loud music being played at his property in Brunton Street, after which is was issued with a written warning which required him to stop playing his music at an excessive volume.

However complaints of music from the premises continued throughout the summer, resulting in council officers gathering evidence about how loud and how often the music was occurring using recording equipment installed within neighbouring properties.

On August 6 last year, Mr Harrison was issued with the notice which required him to immediately stop playing his music at an excessive volume, but the loud music continued.

On 14 August, officers were granted a court warrant to enter the property and remove the noise making equipment from the address, including a extensive range of hi-fi equipment, including subwoofers and speakers.

Yet despite having his stereo removed Harrison continued to plague his neighbours with music, including a incident at 5.30am on a Sunday morning in August, when the song ‘Someone You Loved’ by Lewis Capaldi, accompanied by raucous singing, was recorded coming from his property. Harrison's early morning Capaldi concert produced noise levels in excess of 40 decibels in the living room of a nearby property.

Harrison, of Harcourt Street, moved out of Brunton Street shortly afterwards, but was traced to a new address in town and the prosecution followed.

Magistrates fined him £660 and ordered him to pay £414 costs and a £66 victim surcharge, resulting in costs totalling £1,140.

The magistrates also confirmed the confiscation of the stereo equipment used by Harrison to cause the disturbance.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy, which include environmental health team, said: “Noise pollution and disturbance can cause serious health issues and impact on people’s enjoyment of their property. In this case the music was being played throughout the night which was affecting the sleep of nearby residents.

“The environmental health department deals with over 500 noise nuisance complaints each year. The vast majority of these are resolved without formal action.

"However, in cases where warnings and legal notices are ignored, officers will act in order to prevent unacceptable noise disturbance and to protect the health of nearby residents.

“The level of fine in this case shows just how seriously the magistrates regarded the actions of Mr Harrison and should act as a deterrent to others who ignore warnings from officers that their music is creating an unreasonable disturbance to their neighbours.”