30 Mar, 2024 @ 11:00
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: British expat is facing JAIL for trimming a pine tree that was overhanging his swimming pool on Spain’s Costa Blanca – after aggressive cops turn up at his door and ‘throw a court summons’ at his wife

A BRITISH expat is facing jail and a €10,000 fine two years after trimming a tree overhanging his swimming pool, prompting aggression from local authorities.

Michael shared CCTV footage with the Olive Press showing cops shining a torch in Marina’s eyes. Photo: The Olive Press

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Michael Granger, 56, and his wife, Marina, 52, were dramatically quizzed by police at their €400,000 villa on the Costa Blanca after paying a gardener to cut back the pine tree. 

The Welshman told the Olive Press how the tree at his villa in San Miguel de Salinas was ‘spoiling’ his daily swims as any gust of wind propelled hundreds of pine needles into the pool. 

He said he was forced to take matters into his hands on March 1, 2022, after repeatedly trying to contact his neighbour and getting no response. 

Incredibly, nearly two years later on January 16, Guardia Civil and Policia Local cars pulled up to his property ‘to arrest him’ for criminal damage. 

Video footage shared with the Olive Press shows aggressive officers shining a torch into his wife’s eyes before throwing a court summons at her through the gate on the driveway. 

Marina says cops ‘threw’ the court summons at her. Photo: The Olive Press

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“It was terrifying and a complete overreach,” Granger insisted, “They hurled abuse at my wife and tried to arrest me but my lawyer told them we would deal with it at court and thankfully it wasn’t necessary.”

Marina, who grew up in the Soviet Union, added: “This is something you’d expect to happen in the old USSR, not the EU!”

The couple quickly sought help at their local police station, where they claim they were told to “f**k off”. 

The expat, who has spent 10 years in Spain, says he tried to settle the matter out of court but his offer was refused. 

Michael says he’s ready to leave Spain after his ordeal. Photo: The Olive Press

He said: “I’ll give them money, but what I refuse to have is a criminal record. I did nothing wrong.” 

Granger learned that locals – ‘claiming to be the owner’ of the property next door – had filed a denuncia against him.

But he claims the home had been empty for years after the previous owner died. 

Michael says the neighbours claim he climbed this wall to remove fallen branches. Photo: The Olive Press

The Welshman has spent €6,000 in legal fees and interpreters ahead of his date at Torrevieja court on May 3.

He said he expects a guilty verdict but is ‘ready to fight back’.

Granger said the ordeal has left a sour taste in his mouth, adding: “Europe isn’t a good place to live anymore.” 

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