The shooting event held on a Sunday was in breach of a noise abatement noticed issued by North Devon Council.

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A CLAY pigeon shooter has been fined for breaching a noise abatement notice by carrying out a shoot on a Sunday.

Richard Chapple, of East Stowford Manor, Chittlehampton, did not attend court on Thursday but pleaded guilty to the offence by post.

The 58-year-old was served the notice in April 2005 by North Devon Council which prohibited him from shooting on the land opposite Broadmoor Farm on a Sunday.

Damian Hunter, prosecuting on behalf of the council, explained that over the years numerous complaints had been received about shooting on the land covered by the notice.

But it wasn’t until the Sunday shoot that the council could prove Chapple had breached the terms of the noise abatement notice.

Mr Hunter said: “The abatement notice states Mr Chapple cannot shoot on the land for more than four hours in any one day, prior to 10am or after 8pm, over 28 days per calendar year or hold more than two shoots in one week.

“He also cannot shoot on a Sunday.

“The council had a complaint that a shoot had taken place on September 30, on a Sunday, which was in breach of the abatement notice.

“But the officers hadn’t been able to witness it; we only had reports people had heard the shooting from their property.”

The council received further complaints in October that another clay pigeon shoot was being planned for Sunday, October 28, which was also advertised in a local paper.

Environmental Health officers visited the site on the day and found that shooting was taking place on the land which breached the condition of not shooting on a Sunday.

Chapple said in mitigation he believed the abatement notice had been followed.

He said: “I am sorry for committing an offence and will make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Magistrates fined him £900 and ordered him to pay the full costs of £849.25.

Linda Sherwood lives opposite the shooting site and attended the court to see the outcome.

Speaking afterwards she said: “I can sit inside with the television on and still hear it; it’s been going on for 15 years now.

“We’d have liked to seen a bigger fine because I don’t think it is a big enough deterrent”.

Jeremy Mann, the council’s head of environmental health and housing services added “We are pleased that the court took the referral seriously. Anti social behaviour is a matter of community concern.

“We are also thankful for the support of the local residents in dealing with this case.”

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