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Doctor fined £4,000 for poisoning 'magnificent' trees

The black leaves are a symptom of the poisoning Credit: Stafford Borough Council

A doctor has been ordered to pay more than £4,000 for killing large trees by poisoning them at his property at Stone in Staffordshire.

Dr Stephen Hearing admitted three charges relating to the poisoning of a Lime and a Copper Beech tree and to damaging another Copper Beech tree, which were the subject of Tree Preservation Orders.

Dr Hearing, 47, who is now living in Derby, pleaded guilty to charges under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Stafford Borough Council was 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.

The 47-year-old told the council in interview that he had poisoned the trees but his intention was to limit the growth of leaves to allow more light into his home.

Sentencing him, magistrates' chairman Richard Thomas, said the defendant had caused the loss of “magnificent trees”.