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British Woman Escapes Prison In Noisy Sex Case

Remember Caroline Cartwright, the UK woman who faced a five-year prison term for having noisy sex?  The 48-year old Sunderland woman got a suspended sentence yeaterday, reports the Telegraph.

Cartwright and her husband Steve received complaints from the mailman and from neighbors, who said that Cartwright's noises sounded like murder.  When the couple ignored an order to quiet down they were given an Asbo, which they again violated.  (Asbos are Anti-Social Behavior Orders, which basically allows people to be punished for things that aren't actually illegal.)  The unemployed woman argued that nosy neighbors were infringing on their privacy, and that she couldn't help making noises during sex, which neighbors said the couple had for two to three hours every night.

The City Council put sound equipment at a neighbor's and recorded sounds of 47 decibels (which, as Jezebel points out, isn't actually that loud, although it's not quite clear exactly how far away the neighbors' flat was.)

''I have tried to minimise the situation by having sex in the morning - not at night - so the noise was not waking anybody," says Cartwright, who seems genuinely perplexed by the complaints.

Judge Beatrice Bolton gave Cartwright a sentence of eight weeks in prison suspended for a year.  "I've heard a very short extract of the noise you make," the judge said, "and can well see that your neighbors would be upset and distressed by this.

With regard to the penalty, the judge made her views clear:  "It needs to be a prison sentence because you need to be deterred."

Mr. Cartwright will be sentenced separately.

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