Nick Baker (37), a successful marketer from Warsaw, Hampshire, has been fined £80,000 for cutting down 100-year-old trees. It included sixteen protected oaks that apparently blocked Millionaire Baker’s view of the Humble River.
Nick Baker has a company worth £100 million (€115 million). He lives in Warsaw, Hampshire, England in a house worth over €5.75 million. His neighbor is 88-year-old David Hunt, a young sailor who won a silver medal at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
In the Hunt Park there are hundred-year-old oak trees. Trees are protected. Baker had asked his neighbor through his gardener if he could prune some branches from the trees. Baker claimed he feared “storm damage”. He also told the judge that he was allowed to trim as much as he wanted. Which Baker cannot be said twice. His workers converted protected oak trees into logs. This gave the millionaire a better view of the Humble and the sailing boats on which it sailed.
A lawsuit ensued, and Baker lost. The court did not want to know that Baker had tried to shift the blame onto his neighbor and the gardeners. The elderly Hunt denied that he had allowed the felling of trees. “He said he wanted to do some pruning to get a better view,” Hunt said in a statement. “I said yes, he can prune, but he can’t cut down trees.”
Ultimately, Baker pleaded guilty to breaching the pruning laws and was ordered to be fined £80,000 and £1,415 in costs. “It is impossible to put a price on the loss of trees – but we must impose a fine as a deterrent,” he said.
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