Property tycoon fined £100k after hosting rowdy parties in his 13th century castle

Robin MacDonald at Caverswall Castle near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire

A property tycoon has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 after hosting rowdy parties and weddings – in his 13th century CASTLE.

Robin MacDonald, 43, defied an enforcement notice which banned him from holding events, including team building exercises and firework displays at Caverswall Castle.

Despite the ban, he staged large parties in the grounds of the Grade I listed property near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., for two-and-a-half years.

Robin MacDonald at Caverswall Castle near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire
Robin MacDonald at Caverswall Castle near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire

Macdonald bought the castle, which boasts 18 bedrooms, nine reception rooms, 13 bathrooms, a moat, a dungeon and a library with a Wedgwood ceiling, for £1.7million in 2006.

In March he put the sprawling property on the market for £3million after he said he wanted to “downsize” to a smaller house where he planned to retire with his family.

But last Friday he was fined £17,000 and ordered to pay £99,531.24 when he admitted six breaches of an abatement order at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Judge David Fletcher said: “There is no doubt whatsoever that the lives of residents closest to the castle were disrupted by some of the activity going on there.

“It is not a case of where there were loud firework displays every weekend, or music at such a volume it could be heard through the village.

“But there was an increase in footfall near their properties and an increase in vehicles driving past. In one case, the noise went on until 2.15am.”

MacDonald, who has no previous convictions, was given 12 months to pay the fine and costs.

Prosecutor Christopher Draycott said MacDonald, lost an appeal to host weddings and parties in the property when he applied for an entertainment licence in December 2010.

Bizarrely, MacDonald was granted a licence to serve alcohol and allow dancing on the premises by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC).

Mr Draycott told the court: “The breaches were motivated by profit. They continued even after he appeared at this court for a plea and case management hearing.”

Describing the council decision to ban the holding of social events despite granting alcohol and dancing licences, Mr Draycott said: “The left hand and the right hand could have been more aware of each other’s actions.”

Judge Fletcher added: “The council showed disjointed thinking. It would have been more straightforward if there was a greater degree of coherence in the approach.”

Meyric Lewis, defending, said MacDonald wanted to use the castle as an entertainment venue to help meet the cost of the historic building’s upkeep.

He said: “His business is now in ruins and the castle, which MacDonald spent #1million on to renovate, is now up for sale.”

MacDonald refused to comment outside court.


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