Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
For the avoidance of doubt may I confirm that the hedge in question grows out of your land and the parts your neighbour is cutting does not overhang his land please?
That is correct
Thank you. You are correct to believe that the neighbours actions are unlawful and the amount to trespass on your land occasioning damage and/or criminal damage.
You mentioned you have involved the police. Have they given him any form of warning?
They have but it has had no effect, in fact he just laughs when we tell him we are goingto get them involved again.
Thanks. Finally does he have any capacity issues - e.g. learning difficulties - or is he just a difficult person?
He is just difficult to talk to and all we get is a load of foulmouth abuse.
Thank you. You may continue to pursue the matter as harrassment and trespass / criminal damage with the police and can ask that officers visit again to speak to him and consider charging him if he has ignored previous warnings. However you can also pursue the matter under civil law.
Before taking action under civil law, you would first need to consider serving the neighbour with a cease and desist letter including some of the details of behaviour and actions you consider to be trespass and causing damage and times and dates you are aware of and advise that you seek an undertaking from him to cease and desist his behavior within 7 days failing which you reserve your position apply for an injunction together with costs against him
This is a court order ordering your neighbour to stay off and not to interfere with your property or have direct contact with you as appropriate. You would need evidence of his actions which from what you say you already have in the form of video evidence and police reports. Consider preparing a a clear paper trail which demonstrates that you have raised complaints with the police and neighbour and keep a log of any events past and present with dates and times to go along side any video evidence which if possible date using the camera or failing which your voice confirmation on the recording of the date
Once you have the above sufficient evidence you can apply on form N16A.
if you do not think you have sufficient evidence to show on the balance of probability that he is causing damage to your property you may consider installing a CCTV camera which can now be purchased very cheaply which will record any further incidents with or without sound. Ensure that if you do decide to install them you do not direct the cameras into any windows in your neighbours property, particularly Windows like bedrooms bathrooms.
An injunction if granted will order your neighbour to cease and desist in prescribed activities or actions and if your neighbour ignores the court injunction, he will be guilty of contempt of court which can lead to a bench warrant for his arrest and can carry a custodial sentence
You can also sue for damage to your hedge if you can show damage to your land and seek damages if you can show that his actions have damaged your land or your enjoyment of your land.
Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?
Thank you for your help. We have cctv installed and have saved all the instances on a usb stick which we have shown the police in the past, but this morning at 7am we filmed him with a camcorder to get a good close up.
That evidence sounds more than ideal in proving unlawful repeated damage to your land.
Such evidence should be quite sufficient to form the basis of evidence to accompany an application for an injunction if you decide to appy for one.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
A pleasure. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though