A court has today, Friday, December 5, granted an order preventing a man from entering his home in Downham for six weeks in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour in the area.
The closure order, which was granted by Lynn magistrates this afternoon, prevents 30-year-old William Loasby from entering the property in Glebe Road until January 15, unless under the supervision of police or council officers.
The case is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the country to be brought under the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which was passed earlier this year.
The law allows authorities to seek closure orders on properties, preventing occupiers from remaining there for a maximum of three months.
Granting the order, presiding magistrate Ian Cooke said that, while the bench had sympathy for Mr Loasby, there was “no other way” to prevent disorder around the house.
The court was told that Mr Loasby was notified of the intention to bring the proceedings on Wednesday afternoon, while a formal notice was served yesterday.
Emma Duncan, prosecuting on behalf of West Norfolk Council, told the court there had been several occasions on which loud parties had been held at the property.
In the latest case, described as a “10 hour rave”, complaints about the level of noise were recorded from 5.30pm last Friday, November 28, until almost 4am the next morning.
Mrs Duncan said there were also concerns about possible drug use and cultivation at the property and the risk of disorder associated with the parties.
She said there had been a “pushing match” during last week’s event and warned there was “not enough” police manpower in the whole of Norfolk to stop the gatherings once they had begun.
The bench was also told that police would not support council staff if they tried to seize sound equipment.
She added: “The neighbours are at their wits’ end and they deserve some relief from Mr Loasby’s behaviour.”
Mr Loasby, who represented himself at the hearing, said he was trying to turn his life around and denied using drugs.
He admitted he had not co-operated with a request to keep the noise down prior to the most recent gathering, claiming the neighbour making the request had been abusive to him.
But he insisted he had acted on a similar request made during an earlier party.
And, warning that he would be made homeless if the order was granted, he urged the court to impose any sanctions it wished short of closing a home which he described as “the last connection I’ve got” to his daughter, who has been adopted.
He said: “You can do what you want. I’m not going to have another party because I don’t want to lose my house.”
No order was made for costs.