Keith Ramsell paid contractors £1,300 to chop down the “wall of vegetation”, after falling and injuring his arm.


Keith Ramsell paid contractors £1,300 to chop down the “wall of vegetation” in Bushey, Herts (Image: SWNS)

A 90-year-old grandfather was reported to the police by his local council, for clearing land behind his home.

Keith Ramsell paid contractors £1,300 to chop down the “wall of vegetation” in Bushey, Hertfordshire, after he fell and injured his arm.

He had spent more than a year contacting Hertsmere Borough Council, asking them to work on the area.

However, when he emailed them to say he had completed the job himself he was told he had committed criminal damage – and the police had been informed.

A council email said: “For absolute clarity you must not carry out any such actions again.”

Annoyed, Mr Ramsell, a retired university professor, shot back a week later and said he had approached a passing police officer – to hand himself in.

But he said the officer “absolutely declined to taser me, or even put me in handcuffs”, in an email back to the council, which stated he had not been arrested.

The widowed grandfather-of-four said last month that he’s “half outraged and half amused” by the whole ordeal.

The council confirmed it had made a criminal damage report. Police confirmed an investigation had been opened.

Mr Ramsell said: “I wrote to the council to tell them what I’d done – and they said I’d caused criminal damage. So I contacted the police and told them life on the run didn’t suit me. I’d rather hand myself in.

“There has been two fires on the patch of land – last autumn and this spring – as it’s very dry. They were quite terrifying.


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    He had spent more than a year previously contacting Hertsmere Borough Council (Image: SWNS)

    “And I felt very cross and very concerned about my two neighbours who lived in the dark, because they had this wall of vegetation right up to their windows.”

    A Hertsmere Borough Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we’ve reported an incident of criminal damage (the removal of 30 mature trees and other shrubbery) at Moatfield Recreation Ground in Bushey to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

    “As there is an on-going police investigation, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”

    Hertfordshire police said: “Police in Hertsmere are currently investigating a report of criminal damage after 30 trees were allegedly cut down in Moatfield Road, Bushey, on Saturday 26 August.

    “Enquiries are being carried out and anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 41/70946/23.”