• Germany edition
Most expensive 'A-hole' costs man €60,000
Photo: DPA

Most expensive 'A-hole' costs man €60,000

Published: 23 Aug 2012 16:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Aug 2012 16:34 GMT+02:00

The flashpoint happened on December 23, 2011, when the plaintiff waited more than five minutes for a parking space on a busy road, only for the defendant, named Ernst-Gernot M, to shoot into a spot under his nose, Die Welt newspaper reported.

During the ensuing row, Ernst-Gernot M. dropped the "A" bomb - as confirmed by a female witness, who testified in the eight-day court case.

State prosecutors had demanded a fine of €80,000, while the defending lawyer argued, "My client is an elderly gentleman who always maintains his composure. If he did say the word 'arsehole,' then he would have done it so quietly that no-one could have heard it."

Though the incident itself did not take long to unravel, the court case got bogged down because the defendant failed to provide credible evidence of his financial situation.

He described himself as a "poor man," who lived on €1,400 a month that his family gave him. But the 68-year-old was actually a property dealer who had been mentioned in the local newspaper a few years ago as owner of a high-rise block.

This forced the court to investigate his fortune, and found that he lived in a 171 square metre flat, and paid €2,000 a month on his car lease alone. The court also found that he withdrew around €10,000 a month from his bank, on the basis of which it estimated his monthly income at €60,000.

The fine, of 30 days’ income, was calculated at €60,000.

"It was probably Hamburg's most expensive insult ever," the judge said – and banned the man from driving for a month too, for good measure.

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Your comments about this article

17:32 August 23, 2012 by raandy
The lawyer for the plaintiff wanted 80k for saying as^^hol^ and the judge gave him a fine of 60k. This in itself is way out there in the ionosphere.I would think that 100 euros would have been more than enough for this, not to mention the waste of court time.

The fine should have been established regardless of his income.
18:30 August 23, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Sounds like the plaintiff is an as^^hol^.
18:52 August 23, 2012 by flareback
Why did this even get taken to court? Is it illegal to insult someone in Germany?
19:00 August 23, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
There is a law in Germany for practically everything. From the moment you get out of bed you are probably breaking some law or other. Too many laws and nobody knows which ones to obey.
20:27 August 23, 2012 by zeddriver
Wow! I sure hope someone calls me an as*ho**. I want a new M3 BMW
01:39 August 24, 2012 by insight101
just another example of how anal retentive germans are...yes, there is a law against this in control freak land.
03:19 August 24, 2012 by ackmanx
Wow, if we had laws like this in America then our governments wouldn't be going bankrupt :-\
04:18 August 24, 2012 by mos101392
If you were aware of german culture, you would know that the germans find a way to extort money in any way shape or form. There is a reason all of europe goes to them for money. The idea is to keep everyone in perpetual debt so they pay till they die!
09:49 August 24, 2012 by M Australian
Just another example of the disparity in legal judgements in Germany!
12:29 August 24, 2012 by TheWonderer

Yes, that is just and fair.

Offending is not civilized and should not be tolerated - so it is good that these things go to court.

And when in court, it is good that penalties resemble the offenders financial status - hence German penalties are mainly based on "daily incomes".

So a 10-day-penalty for a millionaire is a bit more than a 10-day-penalty for a poor pensioner granny - but they both got the same penalty.

Otherwise, a dentist or legal could pay fines from the tipping-expenses whilst a poor man would have to starve for a 100-$-fine.

This way, it is 1/3 of a monthly income (10 days out of 30) for each of them, no matter whether rich or poor. That is JUSTice...

And be sure: This rich guy who had tried to cheat the court will not do so again!

16:43 August 24, 2012 by BobbyBaxter
I guy nicks your parking place - you call him an A**hole, which clearly he is for doing so, and then you fined 60.000 Euros for it.

Sometimes I f**** hate this country !!!

PS @ Wonderer - you clearly do not drive a car or you wouldn't make such a stupid remark...
23:33 August 24, 2012 by ulrike clarke
Instead of fining people for arguing over parking spaces, why not create more parking??

Logical solution...
10:15 August 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Even more logical solution. Higher taxes to reduce car numbers. Too many which the world environment cannot sustain. Look at the soaring petrol prices. Of course this will never happen in Germany where the Auto Industry is king and our lives are built around roads for their petrol guzzlers. Once they can sell their cars they don't give a S##T what we do with them.
09:39 August 26, 2012 by zeddriver

It was the guy that did the nicking that dropped the arschloch on the guy waiting for the park spot. Then promptly proved he was the arschloch all along.


I'd love to watch you stack everything you own on a bicycle the next time you move house. But then again. I imagine that you would make an exception for yourself in your hate of all road going internal combustion machines should they suddenly become convenient for you. Those pesky roads are rather useful should you need an ambulance or fire truck dispatched to you. We wouldn't even have the extensive rail network without roads and petrol powered machines that built them.
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