Man fined for strangling neighbours' noisy parrot

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The Independent Online
A COUPLE kicked a path through their neighbours' fence to strangle one of two parrots who had made their lives a misery for more than three years with its dawn-to-dusk din, Oxford Crown Court was told yesterday.

Mark Leach, a company director, and his Mexican-born wife Dolores, lost patience because of the loud, non-stop squawking of the birds - one of which was trained to call out the businessman's first name repeatedly.

In court, David Osborne, counsel for the couple, played a 30-second tape-recording of the birds squawking continuously and registering nearly 90 decibels of noise. Leach, 43, of Oxford, was fined pounds 600 and ordered to pay pounds 350 costs, after he admitted destroying the parrot, on 5 April, and damaging property belonging to his neighbours Susan and Paddy Williams.

Dolores Leach, a nurse, agreed to be bound over in the sum of pounds 300 for a year to keep the peace. No prosecution evidence was offered on an assault charge, which the couple had denied.

The court heard that Mr and Mrs Williams moved next door to the Leaches in 1988. Hostility soon developed because of the parrots' noise and the dispute came to a head in April this year.