Pianist faces prison for practicing

2011-12-24 22:36

Madrid - A Spanish prosecutor's office has conceded that the customary seven year six month prison sentence for noise pollution may be too harsh for a pianist who practiced at home.

The office for the north-eastern region of Catalonia said in a statement released late on Friday that it was studying a request for a partial pardon for 26-year-old Laia Martin, a professional musician, given that a "prison sentence could be considered overly stringent".

The office had recommended prison earlier in the week after a neighbour - referred to as Sonia B in the prosecutor's statement - said noise contamination from Martin's five-days-a-week, eight-hour practice sessions had left her with psychological damage, subjected her to great stress and even temporarily forced her to move out.

Martin told reporters gathered outside her house that the neighbour was exaggerating. No musician, however serious, practiced eight hours a day, she said.

Marc Molins, the musician's defence lawyer, said the penalty originally sought by prosecutors "should be reserved for very serious and offensive conduct".

The prosecutor's office had also originally demanded Martin be banned for four years from any profession that uses a piano.