No charges for tree surgeon in car write-off case

March 14, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

The owners of these wrecked cars were furious today after a tree surgeon who wrote off their vehicles with falling branches escaped prosecution.

No charges for tree surgeon in car write off case

More than £8,000 worth of damage was caused when a log smashed through the roof of a Toyota 4×4 while a Rover parked next to it was dented by falling foliage.

The cars had been parked on Bath Road in Cheltenham, Glos., by their owners – who had no idea work would be taking place on trees overhead.

They returned in the evening to find their vehicles were barricaded in by fences and logs, which they were unable to move.

James Connors, boss of GHS Civil Engineers which carried out the work, was originally arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

But he was released without charge and the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped the case because the evidence is ”inconclusive”.

The owners of the cars, Mercedes Martinez, 39, and Sarah Croney, 28, are furious that no action is being taken.

Miss Martinez said: ”It’s a bit difficult to take because damage totalling more than £8,000 was caused to my car.

”I feel it is difficult to let this go and I don’t understand why he can’t be taken to court. The fact that it can happen is more surreal than anything else.”

Miss Croney, a design consultant added: ”It just seems ridiculous that all this damage has been done to my car and they can’t take any legal action.”

GHS Civil Engineers contracted a tree surgeon to carry out the work on September 16 last year.

Miss Croney and Miss Martinez, both of Cheltenham, claim the area their cars were parked in was cordoned off after they had parked.

But workmen at the site said they put the barriers into place before any cars were there.

Mr Connors, who lives in Tuffley, Glos., said the workers were hired through a sub-contractor and blamed the drivers for putting their cars where work was taking place.

He said: ”It was a construction site and they moved our barriers to park their cars.

”The sub-contractors thought they would be able to get the trees down without the cars being damaged, but they failed somewhat spectacularly.”

He added that they had put larger branches over the cars to act as a shield.

Police visited the scene when only minor damage had been done and warned the workers to be careful.

When they returned later to put a stop to the work, both cars were covered in branches and damaged.

Tony Muir, spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ”The facts are inconclusive.

”The defendant could not be prosecuted because there was no realistic prospect of conviction due to insufficient evidence.”

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said: ”On September 16, a 42-year-old Gloucester man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

”Police bail was cancelled on December 7.”

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