A disgruntled teenage gardener took chunks out of a 25-year-old hedge with a chainsaw after the owner complained about his work.
Shopkeeper Amerjeet Bhullar told John Price that he was not satisfied with the finish to the hedge surrounding his Birkby home and asked him to correct it.
But instead the 19-year-old returned with a chainsaw and some ladders and hacked at the top of the hedge.
The traveller then came back a second time to cut out another large chunk.
Price, of Smithies Lane Caravan Site, Barnsley, pleaded guilty to criminal damage when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.
Shamaila Qureshi, prosecuting, said that prior to the offence Price had been working as a gardener for the complainant for two years.
Mr Bhullar’s home in Birchroyd Close had a 15ft hedge around it.
Mrs Qureshi said: “It had taken 25 years to grow it to this height and depth.”
On January 14 Price was asked to cut the hedge and returned the next day to collect his money.
But Mr Bhullar told him he was not happy as the tops were not level and asked him to rectify the problem.
Mrs Qureshi told the court: “He was then observed on CCTV returning to the hedge with a set of ladders and a chainsaw.
“He went to the top and took several chunks out of the hedge, cutting all the green away and exposing the brown foliage.”
The court heard that the teen, who had no previous convictions, was from a travelling family and had followed his father into the same line of work.
Augustine Kennedy, mitigating, said that his client had been asked to do the work over two days and taken the view that there was no problem with the hedge when Mr Bhullar complained.
He said: “It developed into a stand-off and became clear to Mr Price that he wasn’t going to be paid. It’s right to say that the footage shows a young man in a temper (but) the damage was temporary and cosmetic.”
District Judge Michael Fanning told price that he was developing a good business but stood to lose out if he behaved how he did with future employers.
He added: “You know this is not the way to react - it’s completely daft.
“The hedge will grow out in time but the chunk you took out of it will need to be re modelled in due course.”
Price was given a conditional discharge providing he stays out of trouble for the next year.
He was ordered to pay £200 compensation to Mr Bhullar as well as £85 costs and £50 victim surcharge.