A DIY enthusiast who made his neighbours’ lives a misery with his late night activities has been warned he faces jail if he continues.

Paul Bennett would hammer and saw until the early hours of the morning at his terraced home at Bank Top View, Kearsley, forcing next door neighbour Emma Mundy and her family to try and sleep with earplugs.

Bennett, aged 48, was served with a noise abatement notice by Bolton Council in 2016, but has breached it twice and Bolton magistrates have now fined him and made him subject to a criminal behaviour order.

Sentencing Bennett, the chairman of the bench, Roy Davies stated: “Mr Bennett’s behaviour has had an almost daily impact on the family and would appear to be ongoing.

“This behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated by the court and no one should have to suffer from this daily nuisance.”

Under the criminal behaviour order, which lasts for two years, Bennett was banned from carrying out any DIY at his home between 7pm and 9am.

Bennett was warned that if he breaches the order he can be arrested and potentially go to prison.

The court heard that Bennett’s latest breach of the noise abatement order occurred between February 28 and May 17 last year.

Colette Renton, prosecuting on behalf of Bolton Council told how Bennett had been fined in September 2017 after breaching the abatement notice and given a conditional discharge for 24 months.

But on October 22 this year he was convicted, in his absence, of breaching the same notice again.

The court heard that, following complaints, Bolton Council installed a noise recorder in the home of Bennett’s next door neighbour, Emma Mundy, who lives at the property with her husband and two children.

“She reported hearing noises that are largely banging, sometimes sawing and occasionally, what she thought to be plaster falling,” said Miss Renton.

“Although she tries to sleep wearing ear plugs she is regularly woken through the night and being tired affects her ability to work.

“She also feels that disturbance in her children’s sleep has an impact upon them.”

Recordings from the machine showed noise coming from Bennett’s home on February 28 between 7.28pm and 8.23pm and on March 6 between 12.30am and 12.57am.

There was more noise on March 29, 30, 31 and April 1 and then again on May 12, 13, 17 and 18 and reports were compiled from transcripts of the recordings.

“The majority of those describe ‘loud thud’, ‘shouting’, ‘drill’, ‘saw’, ‘rubble falling’,” said Miss Renton.

“The victim last called the council in June saying the noises were worse than ever,” she said.

She added that Miss Mundy says the noises are continuing to this day.

Heather Crossthwaite, defending, said Bennett has lived in his house for 20 years and it is only in the last seven years, since the break up of his family, that he has had issues with neighbours.

She said: “In the past he did breach the notice. He has mental health difficulties and he accepts he was making DIY noises at night and he was sentenced to a conditional discharge for that.

“Since then he says he has been a lot more stable and he hasn’t been doing DIY at night and had been complying with the terms of the abatement notice.”

Miss Crossthwaite said a noise expert had listened to the recording and did not consider the noises were loud enough to constitute a nuisance.

But magistrates decided that Bennett’s offending is so serious that a criminal behaviour order must be made in addition to the noise abatement order he remains subject to.

He was also fined £200 plus a £30 victim surcharge and must pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs.