Game shooting parties are not too noisy judge rules

Lucinda O’Bryan-Tear, who runs a pre-prep school in London, alleged that when she and her husband visited the Tyrwhitt-Drakes in 2010 to discuss the shooting noise they were invited to sit on a “low level dog’s sofa” which she claimed was an attempt to belittle them.District Judge Anthony Callaway, sitting at East Hampshire Magistrates Court, dismissed the noise abatement order, questioning, as he did so, the “unreasonable” conduct of Dr O’Bryan-Tear, whom he suggested had lost perspective.”Although this case is concerned with game shooting, it is apparent that its ambit has stretched over many other aspects and been the subject of bitter dispute,” he said. Bereleigh House estate and grounds, near East Meon Dr Charles Gillies O’Bryan-Tear at courtCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Dr Charles Gillies O'Bryan-Tear at court But things rapidly deteriorated when his daughter was told she could no longer ride on their neighbours’ land as the paddock was to be turned into a car park. “I find that the action has fallen well short of the requisite standard.”Mr Tyrwhitt-Drake said they had been shooting on the estate for nearly 60 years “without any complaint whatsoever about noise”.A successful prosecution would have “ripped the heart” out of the shoot and threatened its viability as well as some local employment.The Countryside Alliance said: “We are extremely grateful to the Tyrwhitt-Drake family for defending it so robustly.”Many people would have folded faced with this sort of prosecution setting an extremely dangerous precedent. Everyone who shoots is in their debt.” Bereleigh House estate and grounds, near East MeonCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency What began as a “minor disagreement” quickly escalated as the O’Bryan-Tears made a “whole succession of complaints” about gunshot noiseDr O’Bryan-Tear even went as far as to “demand” Mr Tyrwhitt-Drake resign from the Countryside Alliance as he was “not fit for office” and his wife Philippa do the same from her role on the local parish council.The court heard that “persistent” shots recorded from Dr O’Bryan-Tear’s patio measured 71 decibels, with the average range between 58 and 63, which he said disturbed the “tranquil South Downs”.He said the stress caused by the noise was comparable to someone coming up behind you and shouting boo. Game shooting parties are not too loud, a judge has ruled in a decision hailed by the Countryside Alliance.Aristocrat William Tyrwhitt-Drake, 76, who has family links to Sir Francis Drake, was forced to defend his right to shoot on his vast 3,000-acre estate after a “bitter, protracted” row with his neighbour, a renowned pharmacist, in the picturesque village of East Meon, Hampshire.The nobleman told the Telegraph he felt he had “no choice” but to fight the private prosecution, which had been costly and stressful for his family.“I was extremely concerned as hundreds of drives all over the country are closer to neighbouring properties than was the case here,” he said.“Had we lost I believe it would have set a very dangerous precedent for the shooting community, in that I have a strong sense that it might have encouraged similar actions.”When Dr Charles Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, 63, a renowned pharmacist, purchased neighbouring property in 2006, relations had been perfectly congenial, the families socialising at Conservative dinners and social functions. read more

Continue Reading