How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16968
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

How do levels of compensation get assessed. The scenario is

This answer was rated:

Hi, how do levels of compensation get assessed. The scenario is that a neighbour chopped through the trunk of a Wisteria bush in my garden causing the bush to die. This was done by leaning over the wall, so is invariably trespass and criminal damage occurred. I have photos showing the cut trunk. He refuses to apologise, and even said "you shouldn't have blocked my planning application" which I did legitimately (unfortunately I do not have evidence of this).
It will likely take 7-10 years before it re-grows, in the meantime it has removed enjoyment of the garden as well as privacy. How would a court assess the level of damages for this sort of thing. Is there a reference guide? Presumably there is some basis behind a figure. If I said £5million clearly it would be laughed at. If I said £50 it seems too low.Thanks. I'm in England if that makes a difference.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thats fine. thanks

Good morning. i will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

so he did this as 'revenge' for you blocking his planning application?

what was he planning to have built and why did you block it?

if he doesnt care after you spoke with him about the wisteria how do you expect him to pay compensation?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi, i didn't think of it as revenge at the time. It was only when my wife spoke to him a few days later to ask him to stop cutting back another aspect of our plants when he said this.He was applying for a 2 storey building which would block light and overlook our garden. This was a legitimate (and not the only) blockage.
I have another issue with him as he demolished a part wall fence (without following the Party Wall Act etc) and caused another wall to be made unsafe as a result. I am building the case around that to go through the small claims system, and was wondering whether to include the wisteria aspect too.Of note, it is a property management company, not an individual who has done this.Thanks

I don’t know if you have reported this to police but you should do. It will give them something to do! I spent far too much time with people dropping litter parking on double yellow lines and speeding and drinking tea.

Don’t be fobbed off that this is a civil matter. This is intentional criminal damage.

Don’t speak to them on the telephone, turn up at the police station. If they try to tell you it’s a civil matter, tell them you have already spoken to a solicitor and you have been told by the solicitor that the police would say that and you want this guy prosecuted.

In addition, you can of course take the matter to the Small Claims Court if you wish although if the guy is prosecuted successfully, the court would normally award compensation in your favour against him.

How much? Believe it not, not a lot. Although having said that, I don’t how much Wisteria Bush costs. It would be the costs of getting a mature Bush and having the dead one removed and the new one planted. I imagine that small bushes are relatively cheap but mature ones more expensive. You would probably be looking at a few hundred pounds I would imagine but I am not a gardener but overall the intention is to put you back in the position that you would have been had this incident not occurred.

With regard to stress and inconvenience, I’m afraid that you really need to write that off.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16968
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** your help. I'm piecing together the evidence (photos, timelines, documents etc). I had assumed police would say its a civil case. I like the reassurance your message has given me to go down that route. Thank You