Spanish pianist could be jailed after neighbor complains

MADRID Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:42am EST

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MADRID (Reuters) - Practice makes perfect. But it can also drive your neighbor crazy.

A concert pianist in northern Spain faces the prospect of jail after her rehearsals drove her downstairs neighbor to call the authorities.

After a three-day criminal trial in the city of Girona, the public prosecutor asked the judges on Friday to jail 27-year-old Laia Martin for 16 months for violating noise ordinances.

The prosecutor also asked for an additional four months for causing psychological damage, and for Martin to be banned from professional piano playing for six months.

Martin's neighbor Sonia Bosom claimed loss of sleep and panic attacks caused by Martin's eight hours of practice a day from 2003 to 2007, when she was studying at a music college.

"My client just wants justice. She has been suffering for many years," said Bosom's lawyer, Tomas Torres, requesting a four-year sentence -- less than the seven he had asked for at the start of the trial.

Martin's defense said she had tried to soundproof her practice room and muffle the piano, and that her practicing had not been as constant as Bosom alleged.

Martin's parents could be fined thousands of euros if they are found guilty of being accomplices.

A verdict and sentencing are expected in a few weeks.

(Reporting by Elena Gyldenkerne; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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