Enzo's Homes guilty of felling ancient redwood tree in Swansea

The 200-year-old tree
Image caption The 200-year-old tree was planted by the Dillwyn Llewelyn family

A developer has been found guilty of causing or permitting the unlawful felling of an ancient redwood tree.

Enzo's Homes director Fiorenzo Sauro, 49, had denied cutting down 70 protected trees, including the 200-year-old redwood, near a housing development in Swansea last year.

But district judge Neale Thomas found both Sauro and the firm guilty of contravening a tree preservation order.

Contractor Arwyn Morgan had already admitted the same charge on Monday.

Both Sauro, 49, and Morgan, who were convicted at Swansea Magistrates' Court, will be sentenced next month.

On Tuesday, Sauro told the court he had nothing to gain from cutting down the tree and it was an accident caused by people not following his instructions at the site in Penllergaer.

"I am conscious there is considerable public interest in this case," Judge Thomas said.

"Having listened to all of the evidence today I am satisfied each of these defendants are guilty of the offences of which they are charged."

'Part of the area's heritage'

Swansea council said afterwards it was "determined from the outset" to take the "strongest possible action" against those responsible.

"In our view this was never a victimless crime," said Councillor Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environment.

"The felled tree was part of the heritage of this area of Swansea and one of the first of its kind to be planted in the city.

"The decision to prosecute was not taken lightly and the convictions should serve as a warning to others."

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