A clear message was sent last Friday to persons who play loud music, so as to cause disturbance to other persons.
The signal came when Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, sitting at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, convicted and fined Brian Jack for violating the Noise Control Act.
Jack was fined $200 after being found guilty of operating a loud speaker at a volume, so that the noise emitted such as to cause disturbance to Alana Delpleche of Campden Park, contrary to Section 20 (1) of the Noise Control Act, Chapter 389 of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines revised edition 2009.
The offence was committed on January 28, 2022.
Jack, a watchman, was ordered to pay the fine by August 15 or go to jail for one month. The Court also ordered the seizure of the musical set which caused the disturbance.
The trial started and ended early last week at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, but the Senior Magistrate, being aware that it was not usual for cases of this nature to come before the Court, adjourned his decision to Friday, July 29, so that he could read the Noise Control Act again.
The Court heard, during the trial, that police officers from the Questelles Police Station went to an area called Plan in Campden Park after receiving a complaint from Alana Delpleche of the playing of loud music in the area.
Constable Kezlan Pope, in his evidence, told the Court that he received the report via telephone around 7:30pm, on January 28.
“On arrival at the scene, about 40 to 50 yards from the defendant’s home I heard loud music and realized it was coming from the defendant’s home.”
PC Pope added that when Corporal Adrian Forde asked Jack why he was playing his music in that manner, he said he was enjoying himself because of his wife’s death about a year ago.
Pope said that when Forde asked Jack if the police ever spoke to him before in relation to the loud music, he replied in the affirmative, but when he was asked, “How many times”, he did not answer.
Corporal Forde also testified in relation to the matter. However, while Pope said that Jack did not answer when Corporal Forde asked him how many times the police had spoken to him before, Forde, in his evidence, recalled that Jack said he could not remember.
The Court also heard evidence from the complainant, Alana Delpleche.
In her closing submissions, Prosecutor Curlene Samuel said, “You heard the evidence from Delpleche who was living close to the defendant. She closed her doors, closed her windows, and the noise was still affecting her.
“When the police officers reached, they were about 40 or 50 ft. away from the house, and they were still hearing the music. He (Jack) admitted that he was playing the music, and it was not the first time, and according to Miss Delpleche, it was not the first time.”
But attorney Jomo Thomas who represented Jack said he did not think there was sufficient evidence that Jack violated the Noise Control Act.
“She (Delpleche) called the police. She did not go over there to tell him (Jack) to turn his music down.
“Mr. Jack told the police that “I lost my wife, and I am enjoying myself.”
Thomas noted that PC Pope, in his evidence, told the Court Jack did not answer when the police asked him how many times before the police spoke to him about loud music, while Corporal Forde, in his evidence, said Jack said he could not remember.