Devon off-grid residents used axes to threaten ‘doggers’

Haldon Forest

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Daniel Bacon and Christopher McKinlay had families living in makeshift woodland homes

Two residents of an off-grid community used axes to threaten men “dogging” near their forest homes, a court heard.

Daniel Bacon, 32, and Christopher McKinlay, 42, waved the weapons at men engaged in sex in a car park at Haldon Forest, Devon, on 21 March 2019.

They admitted possession of bladed articles and were sentenced to 80 hours of community service.

Judge Timothy Rose said they were “wholly wrong”, but acknowledged the remorse shown by the pair.

Both men, of Haldon Ridge, had families living in makeshift woodland homes and were worried about the area being used for public sex, Exeter Crown Court was told.

‘Menacing’

They had been asking the local council for months to take action against men who were meeting up at the isolated beauty spot, near Exeter.

The community on Haldon Ridge has its own postcode and its residents pay council tax. Some of them have been there for 20 years.

Judge Rose told the men: “Whatever people were or were not doing in the car park, the fact of the matter is that you very significantly frightened them.

“Various members of the public saw you coming towards them with axes held aloft, shouting and behaving in a menacing way.

“They thought they were going to get axes through their windows or worse still, their bodies.”

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