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Stone doctor fined £4,000 over damage to trees

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

Stone doctor fined £4,000 over damage to trees

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A DOCTOR has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 after he killed “magnificent” trees by poisoning them at his property in Stone.

Dr Stephen Hearing admitted three charges relating to the poisoning of the three trees at Westover Drive in Stone when he appeared before magistrates on May 20.

He was fined a total of £3,400, ordered to pay £595 costs to Stafford Borough Council who brought the prosecution, and a £120 victim surcharge.

Dr Hearing, aged 47, who is now living in Derby, pleaded guilty to charges under the Town and Country Planning Act which related to destroying a Lime and a Copper Beech tree and to damaging another Copper Beech tree.

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All three were the subject of Tree Preservation Orders and the offences happened around June 2011.

The court heard the council had been contacted by a tree surgeon who was asked to do some work on trees at the property and suspected they were subject to a preservation order.

Dr Hearing told the council in interview that he had poisoned the trees but his intention was to limit the growth of the foliage to allow more light in to his property.

Sentencing him, magistrates chairman Richard Thomas, said the defendant had caused the loss of “magnificent trees”.The court was told the defendant would pay the total of £4,115 that day.

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