Minister didn’t appreciate neighbour’s “gifts”

A 70-year neighbour of the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat has been given a three-month suspended gaol sentence. The man carried out a hate campaign against Mr De Crem that included sending offensive collages, newspaper cuttings and even a bullet in an envelope. A court in the East Flemish city of Ghent also ruled that the man should pay Mr De Crem 375 euro in damages and 220 euro in legal costs.

The man started his hate campaign against the Defence Minister in August 2010. The campaign continued until December 2013. He posted collages of newspaper and magazine articles containing insulting and sexually explicit comments into Mr De Crem’s letterbox.

He called Mr De Crem “A foaming-mouthed Nazi-face”. Other items were also left a Mr De Crems home including a small barrel of beer, bottles, sweets and a bullet.

The judicial authorities had requested a 6 month prison sentence and a 600-euro fine. Meanwhile, Counsel for Mr De Crem demanded 1,000 euro in damages the accused had caused such distress to the De Crem family. In 2010 a psychiatric patient drove into the fence of Mr De Crem’s Aalter (East Flanders) home. He was later sectioned.

Counsel for the defence asked for an acquittal as his client’s action were meant as “satire” and “fun”. However, the court thought differently and ruled that the accused “knew that he was behaving as a delinquent” and that he “breached the beach” as he didn’t hand over his “gifts” in person and didn’t explain why he was giving them.