Just goes to show you that some people’s villains can be other people’s heroes … though I’m not sure any of us would even want to hear our favorite country stars blaring through the windows at 1:30 a.m. when we’re trying to get some shuteye.
56-year-old Michael O’Rourke from Peterhead, Scotland has been sentenced to four months in jail after repeatedly violating noise ordinances and pissing off his neighbors by playing his music too loud. You see, Mr. O’Rourke is partially deaf, but he also happens to be Peterhead’s biggest audiophile, fessing up to a vast collection of vinyl and a propensity to listen to it at top volume at any time in the day or night. People call him the “oldest raver in town,” but O’Rourke isn’t listening to Skrillex. His weapon of choice is classic country, and plenty of it, especially folks like Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton.
O’Rourke has run afoul of law enforcement before for his loud music, and has been designated an “Asbo,” which is apparently an “anti-social behavior order” in Scotland—almost like probation for introverts I guess. He was first slapped with a three-year “Asbo” in 2009, and has been charged seven times for violating noise ordinances. Two years ago, Michael O’Rourke had his record player seized by the sheriff in an effort to stop the noise complaints, so he bought a CD player and kept the tunes pumping. Each time O’Rourke’s sentence has been deferred due to good behavior, but not this time, especially since the latest incident involved getting rough with a police officer and resisting arrest.
O’Rourke appeared in Peterhead Sheriff Court on Monday (1-11), where he admitted to playing the music too loud, and was sentenced to four months in jail.
“This is the sort of behavior that when it does occur is expected to come from a teenager living away from their parents for the first time,” the judge said. “This course of conduct from you—a man of 56—is appalling. You must have lost sound equipment worth thousands of pounds over the years due to forfeitures. I don’t think there is any other option than a fairly long prison sentence.”
O’Rourke’s sentence was backdated to January 8th when he was arrested, but he’s expected to serve the entire four months.
“I used to hear him quite a lot,” says one of his neighbors. “Most weekends you would hear the stereo going. Always Country and Western music. I wasn’t sorry to see him go. He wasn’t the best of neighbors.”