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Court rules in drunken tree chopping case

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Court rules in drunken tree chopping case
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10:48 CEST+02:00
Sweden’s Supreme Court has had the final say in a case where a man chopped down a friend’s neighbour’s trees under the influence. The judgment might make him think twice before reaching for a handsaw after a party again.

The high court has ordered the woodcutter to pay 33,600 kronor ($3,929) in damages to a woman on the island of Gotland who suddenly found herself with three fewer trees one night in 2010. 

The chopping incident occurred when the man, from northwestern Skåne, was paying a visit to a friend on the island.

After a party where drinks were drunk, the inebriated guest took a handsaw to trees on the property of his friend’s neighbour, cutting down three of them and damaging a fourth.

The neighbor was not amused, and reported the man, who then confessed to felling the trees. He was told to pay 25,000 kronor to replace them.

But the neighbor wanted more, calling in an arborist to estimate the trees’ worth according to their age and size as well as their overall aesthetic value. After the assessment, she demanded 400,000 kronor ($46,769).

The case made it’s way through the courts. The chopper was originally ordered to pay 179,500 crowns ($20,988) by a lower court, and that amount was even raised slightly on appeal.

But the Supreme Court found the amount to be too high, and lowered the damages. 

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