U2 fan ordered to destroy CDs

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

A man living in South Wales, United Kingdom was ordered to destroy his entire music collection after creating a ruckus by listening to the music at an extremely high volume. Police seized his stereo equipment in a raid. Karl Wiosna, a 44-year-old resident of Graig in Pontypridd, was playing Cher's album Believe at extremely high volume. His neighbours complained under the Environmental Protection Act and he was warned not to play the album at such high volume. However, he thought the warning was only for the Cher album, and he then started to listen to a U2 album a week later. His neighbors said they could hear the lyrics in their living room.

U2 performing in 2005.
Image: Zachary Gillman.

Before the Rhondda Magistrates' Court Wiosna admitted breaching the noise abatement notice, with which he was served. He was ordered to pay a £200 fine. He was also ordered to pay £50 in costs, £15 in victim surcharge, and to destroy his music collection.

"They took £500 to £600 worth of stuff," complained Wiosna. "I don't think they should be able to do it, it isn't right."

"A legal notice under the Environmental Protection Act was served on Wiosna demanding he reduce the volume or stop playing music," read a statement by the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. "Just a week after the legal notice was received, officers were called to the address during an out-of-hours emergency by a neighbour."

"In this case, the swift and effective actions of environmental health officers enabled the issue to be dealt with and I hope it serves as a reminder to others, that we can take them to court and seize their belongings if they do not cease causing a nuisance to others," said Councillor Mike Forey, the cabinet member for environmental health.


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