Woman representing herself in court loses 18-month dispute over ‘noisy’ pond

A disgruntled couple have lost a £4,000 legal battle over claims that a neighbour’s garden pond was causing an “intolerable noise nuisance”.

Sarah Smith, 47, alleged that the water feature at neighbour Soroush Ebrahimi’s property was causing a “persistent nuisance” to her family.

During a two-year fight, Mrs Smith went to great lengths to get Mr Ebrahimi to take action, including inviting council noise officers to her neighbour’s home to measure the decibel level of the pond.

Mrs Smith launched a legal dispute when she “hit a brick wall” in negotiations with Mr Ebrahimi, in hopes that magistrates would order her neighbour to turn off his filtration system.

“The noise is intolerable and the feature is left on 24 hours a day, even when he goes on holiday,” she said.

“Our request is simple and entirely reasonable. We would even be happy for the feature to just be boxed in so the noise is directed away from our patio”.

However, Mrs Smith, who encountered complications representing herself at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Friday, had her case thrown out following a three-hour trial.

Mrs Smith was ordered to pay Mr Ebrahimi’s undisclosed legal costs in full.

Mr Ebrahimi’s defence said: “The pipe was installed to deal with algae as the pond was becoming odorous, which in itself can also be a statutory nuisance”.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.