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.
Kieran 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.