Court order sees country and western fan silenced

A COUNTRY music enthusiast once described by a sheriff as the “oldest raver in town” has had his record player seized by a court.

A man described as 'the oldest raver in town' by a sheriff has had his record player confiscated by a court. Picture: Neil Hanna

Partially deaf Michael O’Rourke, 55, ignored police warnings about annoying his neighbours by playing his favourite country and western tunes, and lashed out when officers visited his Peterhead home at the weekend.

O’Rourke has had a history of arguments with neighbours about the noise from his property. The 55-year-old listens to artists such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash but the loud music has upset local residents.

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O’Rourke was made subject to a three-year antisocial behaviour order in 2009 after complaints from neighbours landed him in court.

A sheriff has now decided his stereo and record player should be taken from him because previous punishments have not worked.

O’Rourke appeared in court this week after a confrontation with police officers responding to complaints about music blaring from his home.

Officers visited his property at 9am on Saturday to speak to him about the noise levels.

They found him drinking with a friend and, when officers tried to speak to him, he swore and threatened them.

O’Rourke admitted behaving in a threatening manner when he appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court on ­Monday.

Solicitor Stuart Flowerdew said his client often sat at home drinking and listening to music following the recent deaths of his mother, father and uncle, who had died within a matter of months of each other. He ­accepted his client had a lengthy criminal record.

Mr Flowerdew added: “These offences are related to public nuisance rather than public harm.”

Sheriff Alison Stirling ordered O’Rourke to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work as part of a six-month community payback order.

Yesterday one neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “He is always playing music. He likes his music.

“But there have been a lot of complaints about him because he does play it awfully loud.”

The woman said she had heard other neighbours on her street complaining about O’Rourke.

She added: “I suppose if he toned it down a bit, people wouldn’t mind. He does like his country music but it does get on your nerves a bit when it’s played too loud with older people living on the street.”

When police officers arrived at O’Rourke’s home at the weekend, they realised there was an outstanding warrant for another man in the house.

Matthew Anderson, 41, was wanted in connection with an unpaid parking ticket from four-and-a-half years ago.

Anderson, of Peterhead, said he was not aware of the parking ticket or the warrant and threatened one of the officers.

Both men appeared from custody on Monday and admitted a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner.

Anderson was fined £150 and told to pay the outstanding £70 parking penalty.