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Tree poisoner doctor faces fines of £3,400

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 29, 2014

Tree poisoner doctor faces fines of £3,400

One of the trees which was subject to a preservation order.

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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 last Wednesday.

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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