Noisy Julie Griffiths, 43, has been warned she could be jailed if she breaches a five-year Asbo imposed for continuously disturbing her neighbours by shouting and swearing at her long-suffering husband Norman, 63. Officials monitoring the racket coming from Griffiths's Butt Lane home near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, said she breached a noise abatement notice 47 times in little over three months. Stafford magistrates have now told her if she fails to comply with the antisocial behaviour order she is liable to go to prison for up to five years or be fined. Newcastle Borough Council served the noise abatement notice on Griffiths, of Church Street, in 1999.
The court heard she breached it in 2010 by shouting and screaming inside her home and was fined £500. The court was told Griffiths's behaviour continued and in July this year, environmental health officers installed monitoring equipment in a neighbour's home. Lisa Hall, prosecuting for the council, said in the professional view of the environmental health officer Andrea Baker the noise abatement notice was breached as many as 47 times between July 4 and October 22. Griffiths was arrested on October 30. The defendant said she becomes over-tired after working 12-hour shifts on four consecutive days and sometimes has to let off steam. She explained she has a short temper but knew she had done wrong.
Miss Hall said Miss Baker described it as 'by far the worst noise case she has had to deal with'. "The defendant's behaviour was not normal and reasonable," added Miss Hall. Griffiths pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of a noise abatement notice. Steve Lee, mitigating, said Griffiths has a loud voice but accepts she raises it when she gets home from work. He added she has a short temper, particularly when working several night shifts in a row. "She accepts her voice got so loud it would have disturbed the neighbours," said Mr Lee. "She doesn't mean to do it. She comes across as an emotional woman and vents frustration by shouting and screaming.
"She does not go round committing violence, it is simply shouting within the confines of her own home." Imposing the order, magistrates said they were particularly mindful of the length of time Griffiths has caused a problem to her neighbours. The five-year Asbo prohibits her from engaging in behaviour which causes or is likely to cause a nuisance, disturbance, harassment or alarm to her neighbours. She must not: Create noise audible to neighbouring properties; Shout, scream or bang on internal doors; Contact or communicate with her neighbours. Magistrates reminded Griffiths that the abatement notice is still effective. And she was fined £500 and told to pay £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.