• Germany's news in English

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

The Local · 23 Aug 2012, 16:34

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd