A keen gardener was stunned when police threatened him with a fine for a public order offence because his garden hedge art work was shaped – LIKE A PHALLUS.
Green-fingered Ian Ashmeade, 53, snipped a bush on his driveway into the offending shape in 2002 as a laugh after he noticed the shrub had started to grow that way on its own.
But a police officer visited his home last week and threatened him with an £80 fine for a public order offence if he did not ”modify” the topiary.
Father-of-three Ian – a pea shooting champion – has now trimmed the shrub into the shape of a tube, with a pea emerging from the tip.
IT worker Ian, from Haddenham, near Ely, Cambs., today said he is ”disappointed” that someone has complained about his creation.
He said: ”The topiary has been in its pruned state for more than eight years and nobody has had a problem with it.
”Why somebody has taken offence to it now is very difficult to understand and I’m quite disappointed. I think it’s very sad.
”A policeman came around to my house and told my wife that someone had complained about the bush.
”He said that if I didn’t do something I would be facing an £80 fine and could be charged.”
The policeman spoke to Ian’s wife on October 1 and ordered the bush be ”modified” by October 6 or the couple would face a fine.
Ian, who won the World Pea Shooting Championships in Witcham, Ely, Cambs., in July this year, pruned the offending shrub into the shape of a pea shooter on October 5.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary confirmed an officer threatened Ian with a fine following a complaint about his shrub.
He said: ”Officers received a complaint from a member of the public regarding the shape of a shrub.
”Officers went round at the weekend and asked the man to change its shape or he would be fined for a public order offence.”
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