illegally cut trees

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Roblewis » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:16 am

The Plant Co were negligent almost certainly but I am afraid the truth is that you are unlikely to recover the canopy feel in anything much less than 20 years and possibly more. You can certainly plant mature trees but they will be slow to get away even Leylandii takes a some years to get going and the bigger they are at planting the slower they are to get going.

This site provides some interesting alternatives to Leylandii which are faster growing!! They certainly would provide a more interesting canopy

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/FastestTrees.htm
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby jdfi » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:24 am

Was your land fenced?

Is there any ownership dispute/boundary dispute?
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:27 am

Hi
No boundary or ownership dispute at all. Never had an issue with the previous landowner...this 100 acres was bought a couple of years ago by someone who has probably never even seen the land, he is a multi millionairre...he has rented it out to the apple farmer who already had a lot of land and property in the area (not sure why he didnt buy this parcel, but he has it on long term rent)....the orchards have been planted in the last two years, a massive project...leaving a wide border all around for tractors, fruti pickers, etc....even that border didnt reach as far as my rear padlocked gate and fence and trees. My trees and garden do not impact on the whole thing.
The farmer, Ive seen him about 3 times in 2 years, has always been friendly....gave me permission to walk my dogs over his land. I really do think it was a mistake but one with great negligence...he didnt take a close enough inspection, probably just saw pockets of trees, mayben pointed it all out to the contractor from a field away without enough knowledge to know the trees were in my garden. There are a lot of old broken fences around the fields and orchards, I dont know if the contractor assumer the garden belonged to the farmer...who does own a few cottages around here...even so he smashed the fence and broke the 5 bar gate pulling trees over so he didnt take much car of whoever property he thought he was dealing with.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Sudynim » Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:31 am

MacadamB53 wrote:whether an act is criminal damage is relatively clear because this has been pretty well defined:

"A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence."

so intent IS NOT REQUIRED....


That is correct. But unfortunately s5(2) of Criminal Damage Act applies -

A person shall be treated as having a lawful excuse —

(a)if at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question had so consented.....


If the contractor thought he was cutting down trees owned by the farmer, and at the farmer's request, then no offence has been committed. Calling the Police is a waste of time, there is no criminal aspect to this.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:34 am

Hi Sudynim,

If the contractor thought he was cutting down trees owned by the farmer, and at the farmer's request, then no offence has been committed. Calling the Police is a waste of time, there is no criminal aspect to this.

so there is a gaping loophole that would allow me to hire myself a man to destroy some property and on the basis he says "but the client said it was his property..." it isn't criminal damage?

worth knowing...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby APC » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:55 am

The police aren't there to be judge Judy and executioner. Sounds like they are being slack as they don't deem it serious, as a land crime they know nothing of.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby Treeman » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:31 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sudynim,

If the contractor thought he was cutting down trees owned by the farmer, and at the farmer's request, then no offence has been committed. Calling the Police is a waste of time, there is no criminal aspect to this.

so there is a gaping loophole that would allow me to hire myself a man to destroy some property and on the basis he says "but the client said it was his property..." it isn't criminal damage?

worth knowing...

Kind regards, Mac


Well its a possible defence for the contractor but the client is wide open, its still an offence if his agent did the deed.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:52 am

Treeman wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sudynim,

If the contractor thought he was cutting down trees owned by the farmer, and at the farmer's request, then no offence has been committed. Calling the Police is a waste of time, there is no criminal aspect to this.

so there is a gaping loophole that would allow me to hire myself a man to destroy some property and on the basis he says "but the client said it was his property..." it isn't criminal damage?

worth knowing...

Kind regards, Mac


Well its a possible defence for the contractor but the client is wide open, its still an offence if his agent did the deed.

that is what I thought ;)

damage caused by recklessness is as much criminal damage as a calculated event, eg a guy who ploughs his car into a wall whilst drunk or speeding would be found guilty of causing criminal damage (and so would your neighbour/contractor) because his actions satisfy the definition.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby ukmicky » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:00 pm

The important thing here is getting compensation for the damage not getting revenge through the police

Go see a solicitor and sue the contractor.

You sue for and will get the cost of reasonably sized young replacement trees . (Not mature replacements).

You also sue for and will get damages for the loss of amenity (As the court will not give you the full cost of mature replacements).


http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2005/762.html
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:13 pm

Surely if this goes to court, one of the first questions would be "Did you report to the police".

Regards
Coggy
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby ukmicky » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:47 pm

COGGY wrote:Surely if this goes to court, one of the first questions would be "Did you report to the police".

Regards
Coggy


No, because in a civil case for damages you are not alleging a criminal act.

A private person can however if they wished to pursue someone for criminal damage, instigate a criminal prosecution without involving the police and CPS. Sometimes the CPS will take over such cases and can then either continue with the prosecution or discontinue it if they feel it is not in the publics interest.

A civil court can also ask the CPS to look at a case if they feel the evidence has shown that a criminal act may have been committed.
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:04 am

Hi ukmicky,

A civil court can also ask the CPS to look at a case if they feel the evidence has shown that a criminal act may have been committed.

but the crime scene would be so old and contaminated there'd be no chance of gathering any meaningful evidence so it'd go nowhere unless the offenders could be found guilty on statements alone...

if a stranger came along and, with quite some determination, wilfully wrecked £000s of my property I'd expect plod to get involved even if he said it was done in error due to some confusion between he and a 3rd party client.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:29 am

Hi

About twenty years ago I woke to find my husband shouting out of the bedroom window in the middle of the night :roll: Someone, presumably drunk, had kicked our front garden wall (then only single brickwork and quite old) causing damage. Our insurance company paid up without inspecting the wall, but did need reassurance that we had reported the matter to the police.

Regards
Coggy
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby ukmicky » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:48 am

COGGY wrote:Hi

About twenty years ago I woke to find my husband shouting out of the bedroom window in the middle of the night :roll: Someone, presumably drunk, had kicked our front garden wall (then only single brickwork and quite old) causing damage. Our insurance company paid up without inspecting the wall, but did need reassurance that we had reported the matter to the police.

Regards
Coggy


Some Insurance companies treat claims due vandalism or criminal damage differently to other types of claims and will not remove any no claim discount and therefore would require some form of proof that it was a criminal act .
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Re: illegally cut trees

Postby ukmicky » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:13 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi ukmicky,

A civil court can also ask the CPS to look at a case if they feel the evidence has shown that a criminal act may have been committed.

but the crime scene would be so old and contaminated there'd be no chance of gathering any meaningful evidence so it'd go nowhere unless the offenders could be found guilty on statements alone...

if a stranger came along and, with quite some determination, wilfully wrecked £000s of my property I'd expect plod to get involved even if he said it was done in error due to some confusion between he and a 3rd party client.

Kind regards, Mac


Many people have supplied the evidence needed for a criminal prosecution whislt defending themselves in a civil action. Also yes someone can be found guilty on statements alone.

Some types of crimes and crime scenes don't also need detailed forensic evidence . If you wanted to take out an action yourself once pproved by a magistrate court you gain your evidence in the same way as the police do and also have the right to gain statements just like the police and gain court orders to force people to hand over evidence if they don't play ball.

The Stephen Lawrence case was probably the most high profile recent private criminal prosecution that occurred 20 + years after the event. The RSPCA as a private organisation also regularly conduct private criminal prosecutions.

Privately gathered evidence will carry the same weight in a court of law as police gathered evidence and is subject to the same level of interrogation by the defence counsel.

However this isn't a case for a private criminal prosecution but is a case for the civil courts if the contractor fails to pay for new trees and compensation for the temporary loss of amenity whilst they are growing.
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