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Fined for eco crime - Fined £75, the Crime? He 'harmed a living tree'

Seriously we have way to many fuckers stuck on the state payroll, filling offices and dreaming up ever more new ways of wasting taxpayers money and fining us.

After losing two of his prized paintings, Anton Cataldo decided to make a direct appeal to the public.

The 28-year-old artist, who specialises in pet portraits, made posters of his missing paintings and pinned them to half a dozen trees in his local park.

He included his phone number and email address as well as the offer of a £100 reward for their safe return.

But the only message he received was from a council official who took exception to Mr Cataldo's use of the local fauna - and fined him £75 for harming the 'living' trees.

The email said the council had been made aware of the artist's decision to search for his lost property and said: 'Some of these posters had been stapled to trees. You appear to have little understanding that trees are living things.

'Wounding the bark of a tree in any way can lead to attack by airborne fungal spores which, in the worst-case scenario, could lead to the loss of the tree.'

The email, from a Brighton and Hove City Council enforcement officer, went on to inform Mr Cataldo that while several of his posters had already been taken down by the council, he should make every effort to remove the rest himself.

It read: 'Whilst we accept that the subject matter of these posters has sentimental value to you, we simply can not allow every person who loses property to resort to the kind of actions as taken by yourself.

'The city council will, on occasions, permit residents or charities to attach posters to its property in cases, for example, where pets go missing or to raise funds, but, as I have said, not for the purpose of trying to locate lost property.'

The email ended: 'We genuinely hope that the paintings are found and returned to yourself.'...

'I found the council email quite patronising. I'm not an expert but I doubt very much that a staple could cause so much damage to a tree that it would actually die.'

He continued: 'I'm quite a considerate person and I would never knowingly do anything to harm a tree. I didn't realise there was a law about putting posters up, as you often see them around.

Mr Cataldo complained to the council about the fine, which has since been cancelled. A council spokesman said: 'This was probably a case of an officer who was a little bit over-zealous.'

Well no it was not as the council stated over-zealous, it was taking the fucking piss and most likely an illegal fine. Should not a council before issuing a fine, warn people about whatever it is first?

Plus what actual law did he break? Rather than fine him the council should apologise and offer him money for insulting him in that way. 


4 people have spoken:

Anonymous said...

I once carved a swastika in a tree, that'll be a jailable offence no doubt!

Fidothedog said...

Oh yes, offending moslems, eco tree damage, hell the council would have a field day throwing fines at you.

What I can't get is the actual law they used, the only thing that they could legally fine him for was flyposting.

subrosa said...

I was going to do a post on this. You've saved me the trouble :)

it's either banned or compulsory said...

Brighton and Hove City Council , no surprises there then.
Apart from Criminal Damage ( which is a Police matter ) what specific crime was this chap 'fined' for ?
Oops just saw your last para. Can councils now dish out 'fines' for any old thing that they don't like?

There was a 'lost cat poster on lamp-posts' case a while back where they did the post-criminal for illegal advertising, I think they backed down on that one too.

Learn the lesson, anyone who gets one of these fucktard worthless 'fines' should get themeslves into the local rag, pronto.