A Chiswick resident with a fondness for Michael Jackson has found herself hit with a hefty fine for playing his music in the middle of the night.

Deborah Thain (also using the name Deborah Elgamal), of 18 Coram House, Fraser Street, Chiswick, was prosecuted by Hounslow Council for causing noise nuisance. At the hearing at Brentford Magistrate's Court, Mrs Thain was fined £500 for the offence after submitting a guilty plea.

Mrs Thain had previously been served with a noise abatement notice in April 2000, based on an investigation of a complaint of late night noise disturbance. The abatement notice prohibited any further noise from being caused. However, neighbours continued to report noise arising from the flat throughout 2001 and in the early hours of 7 July, the Council's noise officers confirmed that the playing of Michael Jackson records was at a volume which significantly disturbed the neighbours.

At the hearing, officers reported that when they visited the premises at 3.45am, they heard the lyrics and bass from Jackson's 'Thriller' album, and took the view that music at this level and at this time of night was not acceptable.

Councillor Valerie Lamey, Hounslow's Deputy Leader, said: "We are committed to ensuring quality of life for our residents, and I am pleased at this result, which demonstrates that we won't hesitate to take action to protect them. Excessive noise can not only reduce quality of life but, in extreme cases, even destroy it entirely, and it's important for residents to know that they don't have to suffer in silence."

The Council's out-of-hours noise service operates every Friday and Saturday night from 10pm to 4am. Residents disturbed by noise can contact the service on T: 020 8583 2222

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