IT would appear you can do anything you like in this country without redress.

You can rob, steal, and shoplift.

You can cause arson and burn vehicles, cause unprovoked violence, stab and murder, rape and sexually assault, drive whilst disqualified and uninsured.

You can burgle, deface and defile and, as a last straw, you can cut down an iconic 300-year old tree for no good reason and deprive this generation and future generations of a beauty to behold, which was part of our common national heritage.

Lawbreaking is now a national pastime it would seem, but let us hope whoever is involved receives their just desserts with a hefty fine and a lengthy sentence.

But nothing can replace what has been lost and we are all the poorer for their actions.

P Holmes, Barnard Castle