Buckhurst Hill reggae fan could face jail for playing music too loud

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Holyoak was found guilty at Chelmsford crown Court yesterday Holyoak was found guilty at Chelmsford crown Court yesterday

A reggae lover could face five years in jail if she plays loud music at her home again.

Chrissie Holyoak, 53, of Boxted Close in Buckhurst Hill, was effectively banned from playing any more music at home unless she listens to it through headphones.

Holyoak was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday of six offences of breaching an earlier anti social behaviour order (ASBO) by playing loud music between July 1 and August 27 last year.

Recorder Anthony Ashe QC deferred sentencing Holyoak until July 14.

The maximum penalty for the offence is five years in prison.

He said: "If there's any repeat, I will sentence her to custody. If there's not a repeat, I will consider other sentencing options."

During the trial, the court heard Holyoak did not know what volume would be regarded as a breach of the ASBO.

As a result Holyoak, who was listening to music through headphones during the 27 minutes it took for the jury to decide her fate, has effectively been banned from playing music through loudspeakers at her home.

During the hearing her neighbour, Anna Glendenning, told the court about the "stress" of the situation which, on one occasion, caused her family to leave their house after having to cancel a family barbeque.

Mrs Glendenning, a nurse, said: "It was loud reggae music and was intrusive in the garden, once we had to shut the bedroom windows when my husband was ill in bed and on another occasion there was loud music when she was sunbathing on the patio.

"Also, I just wanted to sit in the garden and relax but the music took over the whole garden, causing tension headaches.

“One day we planned to have a family barbeque but we had to abandon it because of the loud music"

She added: "Being a nurse is stressful in another way and I like my own company.

“I do gardening and wash the car and once she was in the garden and said 'I'll f***ing get you, c**t.'"

An environmental inspector who visited the area on July 20 said the music, which also included Smooth FM, was "audible over the noise from the nearby M11."

Holyoak, a former bus driver who suffered back problems, said she had a passion for music and used it to exercise to in the garden.

Describing it as her "therapy" and part of her culture, which takes the stress out of life, she said: "I would crack up if I couldn't listen to music."

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