Educational smack

Knock and run has been around for centuries. Even you have probably done it in the past. Of course, it was not always fun for the victim, but it doesn’t really harm anyone.

A couple of years ago, a client of mine discovered that there are also less innocent forms of knock and run. His perpetrators were far more provocative than you would have been in the past. These children did not run away, something that is quite essential in my eyes. On the contrary, these boys calmly stood there, while one of them even started mooning, which is the process of showing his bared bottom to my client. He was als shouting offensive lines, like; “put it in!”

You will obviously understand that my client found this absolutely inappropriate. He chose to ignore it at first, but when they would not stop and my client noticed that his son was also watching, he decided to make it very clear that this behaviour could not be tolerated. He therefore walked towards them, and saw the ‘mooning’ boy fall. As he got up, my client gave him a few educational smacks with his bare hand. He also kicked him lightly against his bottom.

If it is your opinion that my client’s actions are unacceptable, my client is fully on your side. Rest assured that he is the last to claim otherwise. Although the boys’ behaviour was obviously not acceptable, my client believes his own reaction was also out of order. The proposal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office – a fine for almost 400 euro’s – was therefore accepted immediately by the client. He saw this as a (sort of) penance.

More than four years after the incident, the client received a letter from an attorney, who spoke on behalf of the ‘mooning’ boy. According to the attorney the boy had received grievous bodily harm due to the clients reaction. The boy was not able to work in certain jobs, which meant that he would suffer damages to his income in the future. My client was held responsible.

After my client had turned down this responsibility, the ‘mooning’ boy began a procedure. We explained the court that the clients behaviour was inappropriate, but that it did not appear that my client was responsible in any way. In the boy’s medical file it appeared to be more likely that the harm had been caused by other circumstances. The court agreed fully and thus denied the claim.

After the boy lodged an appeal against this verdict, it quickly became clear to the client and me that there wouldn’t be any new evidence brought to light. Although we were confident about the outcome of the appeal, my client decided to come to an accord with the boy. This way client could focus on the future and spare himself the costs of the appeal.

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