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Wolverley festival licensee fined £1.5k for out-of-hours music
1:00pm Wednesday 15th January 2014 in News
THE licence holder of a music festival in Wolverley that kept residents awake for two nights has been fined £1,500 for breaching the terms of a temporary events notice.
Lesley Mountford, licensee of the White Swan pub in Bewdley, was found guilty by Kidderminster Magistrates yesterday of two charges relating to the one-off music, arts and dance (MAD) festival at Court Farm.
Worcestershire Regulatory Service (WRS) and West Mercia Police received a barrage of complaints about the noise coming from the festival site, which residents claim carried on until 8am on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and 9am on Sunday, September 30, 2012.
Magistrates fined the defendant £1,500 for carrying on loud amplified music after 11.30pm on the Friday and knowingly allowing loud amplified music to be carried on after 11.30pm on Saturday after she had been told by WRS technical officer Keith Park about complaints made the previous night.
Nina Dorrell, prosecuting on behalf of Wyre Forest District Council, told the court that the defendant did not "take reasonable precautions" or have any controls in place to prevent music being played after hours.
Mountford claimed she personally witnessed the music being switched off before she left the site at midnight on both evenings.
She told the court: "There was music coming from the camping field but my licence is for the bottom field. I made sure everything was shut down and it couldn't be restarted up again."
Witness Andrew James said he had helped the defendant pack away the bar area and told the court there was no music coming from the bands or DJ tents after 11.30pm.
Magistrates rejected Mountford's claims that "the field that the festival was held on was classed as two fields because of the size of it" and ruled she was also responsible for the camping field.
David Howarth, defending, said: "It's perhaps somewhat extraordinary that the council didn't seek clarification for that [the two fields]."
Regarding knowingly allowing music to be carried on the next evening, Mountford said: "The first time I knew there were any complaints was when Mr Park visited on Saturday evening."
She also claimed she was " more vigilant" on the Saturday night after speaking to Mr Park, who told the court he believed the music to be coming out a "big speaker box" on both evenings after hours.
Mr Howarth added: "She had put in place people there to police what she perceived as her responsible area which was the festival site.
"She accepts there were some new age travellers [playing music] further up in the other field but she had no control over them."
Mountford's personal pub licence was not suspended.
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