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Newtown ecologist loses harassment appeal over ‘agonising’ wind turbine

An ecologist has lost his appeal against his harassment conviction after he threatened a family over their ‘agonising’ wind turbine.

Edmund Hikins claimed that a new wind turbine near his home, at Pentre Mochdre near Newtown, was causing him agony and keeping him awake at night.

He alleged that it transmitted sonic waves and was driving radiation into his head.

Hikins, 66, who lives alone in a cottage with no electricity, went around to the home of neighbouring farmer Daniel Rees “in the dead of night” disturbing him, his wife and their three children.

Mold Crown Court heard how he banged on the door, shouted and swore, and demanded they switched the turbine off, on one occasion carrying a large branch with him.

Hikins denied harassment between September 2014 and May this year but had been convicted by local magistrates.

He appealed against the conviction at Friday’s Mold Crown Court hearing, but it was dismissed.

A life time restraining order not to approach the Rees family or their farm at Pentre, Newtown, remains.

He had received a conditional discharge from magistrates and he was ordered to pay an extra £415 appeal costs.

Prosecuting barrister Anna Parry said that the Rees’ wind turbine had planning consent and that the local environmental health department was happy with it.

But Hikins claimed that the turbine, situated up to three quarters of a mile from his home, was causing a major problem which was affecting his health.

He said he had tried to get medical help, the noise was getting into his head and it would not stop.

It was seriously uncomfortable and one night he had to run two miles to get away from it.

“Obviously there was something seriously wrong getting into my head,” he said.

Magistrates heard he had knocked on the door and delivered letters and he had been to the farm at dawn to ask them to turn the turbine off.

He had a branch with him on one occasion – in case he was attacked by a dog, he had claimed.

The judge, Mr Recorder Gregg Trevorton-Jones, said the court could not address the underlying issues put forward by Hikins.

“We have no doubt that a turbine can cause all sorts of difficulties for those who live nearby but this court is not in a position to deal with those issues in this case,” he said.

“Our jurisdiction is limited to determining whether we are satisfied that the offence is made out.”

He explained that Hikins was not entitled to go to someone else’s home where there were young children in the dead of night, waking everybody up, because of the way he felt the wind turbine was affecting his health.

He said the court “had no hesitation” in concluding that was a course of conduct that amounted to harassment.

The appeal was dismissed.