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British couple in court over sex 'howling'

world Updated: Nov 10, 2009 21:06 IST

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A British couple whose sex sessions were so noisy that neighbours could not sleep heard in court how their marathon romps sounded like someone being murdered, reports said on on Tuesday.

Steve and Caroline Cartwright's "howling" lovemaking sounded "unnatural", "hysterical" and "like they are both in inconsiderable pain", Newcastle Crown Court in northeast England.

A 10-minute recording of their sex sessions was played out before a judge and two magistrates in the court, where the case continued on Tuesday.

Neighbours at their home in Washington, south of Newcastle, complained about the noise -- as did a woman who walked past the house taking her child to school, and the postman.

The couple were banned from "shouting, screaming or vocalisation at such a level as to be a statutory nuisance", but now Caroline Cartwright, 48, is appealing against her conviction for breaching a noise abatement notice.
Next-door neighbour Rachel O'Connor said: "It's just quite unnatural.

"The noise sounds like they are both in inconsiderable pain.

"I cannot describe the noise. Totally excessive and I have never ever heard anything like it.

"I put my television in my bedroom on as loud as it could go and they drown it out."

The local council set up special equipment in O'Connor's flat and recorded noise levels of between 30 to 40 decibels, peaking at 47.

Marion Dixon, a council environmental health manager, took notes which said: "I heard a male voice howling loudly, which I felt was very unnerving."

She said when the couple were confronted by the council, "Mr Cartwright held his head in his hands but Mrs Cartwright seemed to find it quite amusing."

Dixon's colleague Pamela Spark called the noise "hysterical, almost continuous, just screaming.

"I found it very disturbing and I noted that it sounded like she was being murdered.
"It was very alarming."

Caroline Cartwright said she was unable to stop the noises.

"I tried to control it. I even tried to use a pillow (over her face) to try and lessen the noise," she said.

"I have tried to minimise the situation by having sex in the morning -- not at night -- so the noise was not waking anybody."