Court sticks hefty fine to tree vandal

A man has been ordered to pay more than £2,400 after he was caught vandalising a street tree in Tavistock Avenue, Perivale.

Tavistock Avenue Tree VandalKieran Whitney, who lived in nearby Bideford Avenue, Perivale at the time of the offence, appeared before Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 5 August, where he was found guilty of criminal damage.The court heard that Mr Whitney had been seen cutting the branches of the Mountain Ash by a local resident. The council’s envirocrime team investigated the allegations and this resulted in the prosecution.The court ordered him to pay £2,419.32, which includes a £210 fine for criminal damage, £1,088.32 in compensation to Ealing Council for the loss and replacement of the tree, legal costs of £1,100 and the victim surcharge of £21.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said:

“Ealing has a great reputation for being a leafy borough and it is appalling that anyone would take it upon themselves to damage a tree and ruin the street for their neighbours.

“We take all vandalism cases seriously and I hope that this case will discourage others from undertaking such reckless behaviour.”

Residents can report antisocial acts including fly-tipping and graffiti online on the council’s website: www.ealingcouncil.gov.uk.