THE saga of the noisy cockerel rumbles on as its owner is accused of breaking a noise abatement notice again.
Helen Rogers was last month hauled before magistrates and fined £1,000 for breaching an order imposed by Winchester City Council over her cockerel, Big Bird, and ducks who had been waking neighbours at the crack of dawn.
Mrs Rogers keeps the bird on her son’s land in Church Lane, Hambledon.
Although she has support from parts of the community – including the local vicar – the immediate neighbours say the birds are so noisy they are making their lives a misery.
Since the court case – which saw her handed an 18-month conditional discharge – Mrs Rogers has received a letter from the council warning her that further action will be taken after more complaints were received.
The 57-year-old traveller, who is living on the road in her caravan, said: ‘I got a letter from the council just two weeks after the court case to say it’s all kicked off again and the neighbours have reported the birds.
‘They asked me in for a meeting but my solicitor is on holiday and there’s no way I’m going in without her because I feel I’m being victimised. The magistrate made no order for me to move the birds. I only have Big Bird (the cockerel) and the ducks and they are covered up in coops in a stable so they are quiet.
‘Between 8.30am and 9am I come over to uncover them. They do not make a noise when they’re under there.
‘The only birds I let out in the day are the tiny bantam and her two small babies. As far as I’m concerned no birds crow in the early hours. Other people round here have birds. How do they know it’s not those?’
At the court case neighbours said the noise starts at 5am and continues into the afternoon with crowing three times every two minutes.
They said it had been going on for more than two years.
A recording taken by an environmental health officer was played to the court showing the crowing of cockerels and quacking of ducks.
Winchester City Council originally put in place a noise abatement order last autumn which was broken on November 5, 7 and 11.
Neighbour Tony Higham said they had not troubled him since the case but he had been away most of the time.
In the letter to Mrs Rogers environmental health officer David Ingrams said: ‘Clearly it is in everybody’s interests, most of all your own, that this ongoing issue is resolved and that the abatement notice is complied with. In failing to comply you run the risk of further legal action being taken against you.’
Speaking to The News he said he would contact Mrs Rogers to arrange a new, mutually agreeable, date to discuss the matter.