Two balaclava-clad men appear in court accused of causing £622k in damages after ‘cutting down iconic Sycamore Gap tree’

TWO men today appeared in court accused of causing £622,000 in damages after allegedly cutting down a Sycamore Gap tree.

The 300-year-old tree, which featured in blockbuster Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves, was destroyed in September.

Daniel Graham, left, and Adam Carruthers, right, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court today

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Daniel Graham, left, and Adam Carruthers, right, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court todayCredit: NNP
They are accused of cutting down a 300-year-old tree

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They are accused of cutting down a 300-year-old treeCredit: PA

Daniel Graham, 38, and Adam Carruthers, 31, appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court today.

The pair, who arrived at court in balaclavas, are charged with criminal damage over £5,000.

The charge states they “without lawful excuse, damaged a sycamore tree to the value of £622,191 belonging to the National Trust”.

Graham and Carruthers are also accused of a second charge of criminal damage to property valued under £5,000.

This relates to damage on Hadrian’s Wall worth around £1,144.

Graham, of Milbeck Stables, Carlisle, entered pleas of not guilty, while Carruthers, of Church Street, Wigton, Cumbria, entered no pleas.

The court was told both men are responsible under a “joint enterprise”.

The defendants could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

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They were bailed to next appear at Newcastle Crown Court on June 12.

The chopping down of the iconic tree left the nation heartbroken after the mysterious feller struck in the middle of the night.

The trunk of the landmark tree was removed on October 12 after it was first cut into large pieces.

It is being stored in an undisclosed location before its fate is decided.

The National Trust, who run the site, say a decision on the tree’s future is yet to be made, but a public consultation will take place soon.

The pair are also accused of damaging Hadrian's Wall

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The pair are also accused of damaging Hadrian’s WallCredit: AFP
How the tree looked before it was felled

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How the tree looked before it was felled

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