British Columbia

Stereo lover gets 2 years probation for excessive noise

Dustin Hamilton was sentenced to two years probation after multiple complaints from neighbours about his incredibly loud car stereo

Dustin Hamilton is accused of terrorizing his neighbourhood with his car stereo

The custom stereo in Dustin Hamilton's PT Cruiser has sparked multiple complaints from neighbours (CHEK News)

A Vancouver Island man accused of terrorizing his neighbourhood with his car stereo was sentenced in court Tuesday morning.

Dustin Hamilton pleaded guilty to mischief a year after he was banned from using his car stereo in Central Saanich, where he lives.

He was sentenced to two years probation and given a conditional discharge, which means he avoids a criminal record.

Hamilton lives in a rural neighbourhood north of Victoria and nearly 20 of his neighbours have complained to police about the excessive noise from his car stereo.

He built the stereo for competitions that measure the clarity and loudness of the sound system and says building stereos is his passion. He also installs sound systems in cars for work. 

The complaints against Hamilton range from a registered nurse upset that her sleep was consistently disrupted to a man concerned about his sick horse bolting at a full gallop whenever Hamilton would drive by.

Steroids blamed for behaviour

Hamilton's lawyer argued that the 25 year old man was on steroids for a medical condition last year which made him antagonistic at the time the bulk of the complaints were made, but says Hamilton has changed his medication since then.

Justice Christine Lowe read from multiple victim impact statements submitted by the Crown.

She highlighted comments from neighbours about the stereo vibration's physical impact on pets, children and a neighbour with PTSD.

Lowe told Hamilton that she was glad to see him now taking responsibility for his actions, but it was "sort of like he was poking his neighbours in the eye" every time he drove past their homes blasting music.

She also said it is unfortunate that he has become so hated in the community where he grew up.

In October 2017, Hamilton was banned from using his stereo in Central Saanich as a result of the complaints.

At the time, Central Saanich police Cpl. Dan Cottingham said the noise complaints detailed an outrageous level of noise coming from Hamilton's PT Cruiser.

"Floors and windows were rattling when he'd go by and dishes would shake on the counter. Young kids were woken up in the middle of the night."

The ban will remain in place for the next two years.

As part of his sentence, Hamilton is also banned from driving on West Saanich Road between Keating Cross Road and Wallace Drive, and he will have to complete 15 hours community service before the end of January.