What people get up to behind closed doors is, of course, their own business. But if they’re doing building works, for instance, and the banging and crashing is audible to others, city bylaws kick in. It’s a subject close to our hearts at Health24.
So we have little sympathy for the British woman who lost her appeal this week against a ban on her noisy sex sessions, after a court heard how her marathon romps that kept neighbours awake sounded like someone being murdered.
Neighbours had complained about the noise -- as did passers-by and the postman. The couple had an injunction against them against "shouting, screaming or vocalisation at such a level as to be a statutory nuisance", and Caroline Cartwright, 48, had appealed under human rights laws against this conviction and injunction.
She and her husband Steve's "howling" lovemaking sounded "unnatural", "hysterical" and "like they are both in considerable pain", Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England heard. A 10-minute recording of their sex sessions was played out in court, which apparently settled it for the judge: the conviction was upheld.
The romps typically started at midnight and lasted several hours. Caroline Cartwright said she was unable to stop the din.
’I put a pillow on my face to keep it down’
"I tried to control it. I even tried to use a pillow (over her own face) to try and lessen the noise," she said, but the judge was unsympathetic: the nuisance, he said, was “compounded by the duration -- this was not a one-off, it went on for hours at a time.
"It is further compounded by the frequency of the episode -- virtually every night.
"We do not find there is any infringement of her human rights in any shape or form." the judge heard.
The couple's next-door neighbour Rachel O'Connor told court: "It's just quite unnatural.
"The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain.
"I cannot describe the noise. I have never, ever heard anything like it.
"I put my television in my bedroom on as loud as it could go and they drown it out."
The local council set up special equipment in O'Connor's flat and recorded noise levels of between 30 to 40 decibels, peaking at 47 -- as loud as a conversation in the very same room.
Marion Dixon, a council environmental health manager, took notes which said: "I heard a male voice howling loudly, which I felt was very unnerving." – (Sapa, November 2009)
Noise pollution besieges Europe