A Greenwich man appeared in court yesterday (Thursday) accused of cutting around 100 white tufts, used to mark the planned path of the Olympic eventing course, from the ground in Greenwich Park.

Edward Hill, of Creek Road, pleaded not guilty to criminal damage at Woolwich Magistrates Court and has elected for jury trial at crown court.

It is alleged that Mr Hill, a photographic artist, spent around two hours removing the artificial grass tufts on 23 September.

Olympic organisers LOCOG confirmed that the markers were cut out of the ground in an attack of vandalism but did not wish to comment further.

“We have planning permission for all the work we are doing in Greenwich Park,” said the LOCOG spokesman.

Mr Hill will appear at Woolwich Magistrates Court on 19 November to be committed to crown court.