A woman in Norwich, UK, was recently banned from singing and playing loud music in her apartment, after neighbors complained that her screeching sounded like “a drowning cat”.
48-year-old Heather Webb has reportedly terrorized neighbors in her apartment building with her singing for at least four years. In 2014, her neighbors filled anti-social behavior forms and sent them to the local council, but she only received a community protection warning from the police. Then, in 2016, neighbors again complained to the council about her loud, disturbing singing, but no action was taken against the woman. Finally, in December of last year, a judge issued Webb a Criminal Behavior Order which legally banned her from singing in her apartment. But she didn’t let that stop her.
The 2-year-order forbade Heather Webb from “engaging in conduct which causes alarm or distress” and also banned her from “playing music, singing, shouting or creating noise at a volume which can be heard outside of her property”.
Magistrates were told that Webb broke the terms of the order at least three times, in January and February of this year, and some neighbors presented audio proof of that. For example, Paul Burford, who lives 40 meters from the amateur opera singer’s ground floor apartment, used a smartphone app to record her singing and sent it to the local council as evidence.
Burford said that the “erratic opera singing” occurred at 8.30am on February 7 and sounded “like a drowning cat, to be honest”. Another neighbor, who lives two floors above Webb’s apartment, said she was watching TV on January 8, with her headphones on, but she could still hear the singer’s “screeching and screaming”.
“When I first heard it, I took my headphones off and went to the window to make sure that her flat was where the noise was coming from, and it was. It comes from that flat constantly,” the woman said, adding that Webb’s singing had bothered her on January 9 as well.
During the court hearing on May 5th, prosecutor Nicola Pope told magistrates that police interviewed Webb on February 12, and she said she didn’t recall singing on January 8, as too much time had passed. As for the February 7 incident, she told police that she had “gone to great lengths to close her windows and amend things”.
The judge found Heather Webb guilty of breaching the order on three separate occasions – January 8 and 9, and February 7 – and a “no bail” warrant was issued for her arrest.