A Stotfold dog owner who allowed his barking pet to cause a nuisance to his neighbours has been hit with a £4,000 fine.

Mark Racher was found guilty in his absence of five breaches of a Noise Abatement Notice at Luton Magistrates' Court, and was ordered ordered to pay a fine of £250 for each offence, a victim surcharge of £500 and costs of £2,423.56, totalling £4,173.56.

Officers from Central Bedfordshire Council served the notice on Racher in May 2022, following complaints from neighbours about his dog barking excessively.

Prior to serving the notice, officers made several visits to a neighbouring property where the barking from his dog could be heard.

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Between June 21, 2022 and August 19, 2022, officers made five further visits to witness the barking, with Racher failing to the control on each occasion.

"We resort to legal action only after trying to educate individuals and issuing a Noise Abatement Notice. However, if the noise persists, we will look to prosecute," said Cllr Rebecca Hares, executive member for health and community liaison.

"As part of our enforcement efforts, it's crucial for us to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents, including animals. We will assess the impact on the welfare of any animals involved in the disturbance.

"We won't tolerate environmental crimes like noise, fly-tipping, or littering in Central Bedfordshire. We're determined to keep Central Bedfordshire a great place to live and work."