A Welsh woman living in Bantry defended her actions in cutting down Coillte trees claiming she was ‘a conscientious protector of the environment.’
A jury convicted Sioned Jones (61) from Maughnaclea, Kealkil, Bantry, of stealing €500 worth of Sitka Spruce belonging to Coillte after she felled an estimated 250 trees at a nearby plantation.
Sioned Jones promised Judge Sean O Donnabhain that she would not cut down any more Sitka spruce trees after he warned her that she faced jail if she didn’t desist.
Following legal argument, the judge directed the jury at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to find the accused not guilty of causing criminal damage by felling the 250 trees and ring-marking the other 250 tree trees.
But the jury of four men and eight women took just 38 minutes to find the accused guilty of a single charge of dishonestly appropriating 250 logs worth €500 from Coillte.
- Read the full story in next week’s Star, out Thursday, and see our Facebook page for a pre-court interview with Sioned Jones.