Takeley man, 74, handed injunction and £13.5k bill in row over security light

PUBLISHED: 17:30 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 09 August 2017

Brian Wales, who is fighting the council over a security light he had installed

Brian Wales, who is fighting the council over a security light he had installed

Archant

A man living in sheltered accommodation has been told to pay £13,500 in costs after Uttlesford District Council took him to court over a security light he put up outside his home.

The council has obtained an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction against the man, who they said was abusive and threatening to neighbours and council officers.

Brian Wales, 74, of Priors Wood Court, Takeley, installed the external light to the front of the sheltered housing block last year after he and his wife suffered vandalism to their cars.

He told The Broadcast yesterday: “I shall be paying £2 a week for the rest of my life. If I had that sort of money, I wouldn’t be living here.

“The whole thing is ridiculous.” In an interview with The Broadcast last year, Mr Wales, a former housing landlord, said his wife’s Peugeot Coupe had damage costing £2,000 to repair, while other residents had suffered vandalism.

He described council-provided CCTV as inadequate in the dark, and installed his own security light.

“What I want is for the council to provide adequate lighting around the building,” he said in November – pledging to take the case to court if need be, saying “I am not going to lie down”.

The council said Mr Wales’ light was in breach of his tenancy agreement and carried out with no prior consultation.

A statement said neighbours claimed the light shone into their properties. When approached about this, Mr Wales was found to be dismissive and abusive to them, and to officers of the council’s housing team who visited him.

At a hearing at Chelmsford County Court on July 26, Judge David Vavrecka found in favour of the council.

Mr Wales has now removed the light. His conduct was also found to have amounted to anti-social behaviour, and the injunction forbids him from using threatening, abusive or insulting language towards residents of Priors Wood Court and Priors Wood Road, and to council members, staff and contractors for two years.

Julie Redfern, district councillor for housing, said: “It is a last resort for us to take this kind of action and not something we do lightly. The outcome of this case is satisfying as tenants were brave enough to support the action and give evidence in person.”

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