A homeowner who damaged a 90-year-old tree so badly it had to be felled has been fined over £60,000.He can clearly afford it. And if they'd told him that would be the cost of felling it he'd no doubt have paid up...
Stephen Lawrence, from Chelmsford, Essex, had made two applications to the council to fell the mature protected cedar, but both were refused by the council.
Despite warnings, he stripped the bark off the lower trunk, according to the council, and holes were drilled into the wood.
Chelmsford City Council said the damage was so extensive it had to be felled - and took him to court.Does he care about the criminal record? Obviously not!
The defendant was initially fined £90,000, but this was reduced to £60,000 plus costs of £1,004.82 and a victim surcharge of £32, based on his early guilty plea.A better sentence would have been to confiscate the house, giving him the lowest market valuation.