Trial of damage caused by tree thief

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A VANDAL hacked down a pensioner’s tree after attempts to uproot it failed.

The heart-less thief chopped down and stolen the cherry tree from the garden in Shotton Colliery.

The 7ft cherry tree, described as a “miniature”, was removed from the 81-year-old woman’s garden in Thornhill Road between 9.30pm on Wednesday and 10am the following day.

Pc Dave Thomspon, of the Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team, said that the thief had attempted unsuccessfully to uproot the blossom-covered tree from the ground but then used a saw to cut it down before stealing it.

A hedge was also damaged in the process.

Anyone who can help police trace the thief is asked to contact Pc Thompson at Peterlee via the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.