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91-year-old woman won't have to pay fine after complaint about noisy chair

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May 02, 2015 - 5:02 AM

MONTREAL - For a 91-year-old Quebec woman, happiness is not having to pay a fine after a neighbour complained about a noisy chair in her apartment.

Yvette Vachon was originally slapped with a $148 ticket after someone downstairs called police on the evening of April 17.

The Saguenay resident was handed the ticket for violating a city bylaw on excessive noise.

"Ever since it started, I've been troubled by that (and) what was going to happen because of all that foolishness," Vachon told The Canadian Press on Friday.

She said the noise was caused when she used her feet to close her La-Z-Boy-style chair.

"I feel very good because I can now sleep and get some rest," she said after finding out the fine would be dropped. "Before, I was unhappy and now I am happy."

Vachon has lived in the same apartment for 15 years and she said there have never been any complaints before.

She also said she's never talked to the neighbour who called police.

Vachon's lawyer, Charles Cantin, said his client pleaded not guilty during a court appearance this week and he asked the town prosecutor to send him the evidence.

"After analyzing the dossier, the prosecutor decided the complaint would not go any further.. .and the ticket was completely cancelled," he said Friday.

Cantin said police visited Vachon's apartment — without checking the facts — and issued the ticket based on what the neighbour said.

The neighbour complained that Vachon made a lot of noise with her chair and as she walked around her apartment.

"I went there and there was no excessive noise (and) no way to make any," said Cantin, adding she weighs 90 pounds.

"I think it sends a message to all peace officers that they make certain verifications before issuing a ticket — whether it's a municipal bylaw or highway safety or all other laws."

After talking to his client, Cantin described Vachon as "one of the happiest women alive today."

Vachon turned 91 on April 4.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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