Trial involving Therfield couple to be held at later date after court mix-up

David Govan and his wife Marilyn.

David Govan and his wife Marilyn. - Credit: Archant

An application to reopen a case involving a couple who were found guilty of breaching a noise abatement notice has been accepted.

David and Marilyn Govan of Hay Green, Therfield, argued their not guilty plea was not taken into consideration during the hearing at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on April 1 and so the application to re-open the case was granted on May 13.

Councillor Bernard Lovewell, responsible for environmental health at North Herts District Council, said: “Following the Govans’ failure to attend the first hearing, the council’s solicitor made an application for the case to be heard in the defendants’ absence, as is customary when defendants fail to attend as summonsed. “Stevenage Magistrates’ Court agreed to that application and so the case was decided without their attendance on that day, resulting in the couple being found guilty and ordered to pay fines. However, when it was subsequently discovered that Mr Govan had in fact put in a not guilty plea earlier in the proceedings, unbeknownst to the council, Stevenage Magistrates’ Court were duty bound to reopen the matter.”

The hearing is due to be held on July 28.