Hedge-related court case against Lord Kilclooney gets the chop

Lord Kilclooney
Lord Kilclooney

Charges against Lord Kilclooney of failing to comply with a remedial notice by not cutting hedges at his Mullinure home on the outskirts of Armagh city have been withdrawn.

John Taylor, a former senior Ulster Unionist politician who is now a cross-bench Lord, did not attend Armagh Magistrates’ Court for his case which took mere seconds to mention.

His name was not even called on Friday; rather, a prosecuting lawyer called the case by its number and told District Judge Paul Copeland the matter was being withdrawn.

In a prosecution brought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council under the High Hedges Act, Lord Kilclooney had been charged that being the owner of a home on the Portadown Road, he “failed to comply with a Remedial Notice dated January 24, 2018, and served upon you requiring you to take action in relation to your hedge on the aforementioned property within one month from the effective date”.

When the case was first mentioned a month ago, a solicitor for the council told the court “there’s been progress made” and that defence solicitors Blair & Hanna had asked for the case to be adjourned.

“It’s a high hedges case and there’s been progress in that the hedges are being reduced so it’s hoped that the matter won’t trouble the court,” a solicitor acting for the council had said at the time.