Damaged silver birch trees : prison for three months

Hertfordshire Mercury, 6th April 1951

” You have a bad record and you will go to prison for three months. ” said Major C. E. Banbury , presiding at Hertford County Magistrates’ Court, on Saturday , to George Leslie Gray , aged 22, carpenter , of 18 Ashley Road , Hertford , who had pleaded guilty to causing malicious damage to the amount of £25 to silver birch trees , the property of Arthur Henry Nicholls , at Bayford .

Supt E. B. Spicer said that Gray was employed by Hertfordshire County Council and that between February 26 and March 3 he was engaged with other workmen in repairing a culvert on the Broxbourne to Little Berkhampsted road .

The culvert was near Blackfan Wood , and it was alleged that from time to time Gray went into the spinney and cut down 32 silver birch trees varying from 12 to 22 feet in length .

” He cut the down at various times and stacked them inside the spinney. ” added Supt Spicer.” He managed somehow to get some of these logs carted away .”

” The wood was left in a considerable mess . It was not cleared up after the trees were felled , and this is a case of very serious malicious damage . “

Supt Spicer read a statement alleged to have been made to the police by Gray , in which he (Gray) said that he mistook the wood for one in which his father had permission to cut trees .

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