Friday, October 30, 2009

Man cleared of kicking bucket

From: The News
After a year and a half, and a costly trial, a man from southern Poland has cleared his name, after being accused of kicking his neighbour’s bucket.

It took 18 months to end legal wrangling between two obstinate inhabitants of Mikowice, southern Poland over a plastic bucket worth less than 3 euros.

In the spring of 2008, Alicja I. took her neighbour, Waldemar J., to court for damaging her bucket. She told police at the time of the incident that he kicked the bucket so hard it landed on a bush outside their block of flats.

The case was referred to a municipal court.

Waldemar J. pleaded not guilty and argued that he, not his neighbour, was the injured party and claimed Alicja L. was still using the allegedly damaged bucket to this very day. To prove this, he presented, as evidence in court, video he took on his mobile phone of Alicja L. using the bucket for various activities.

The court called a video expert, who testified that it was impossible to date the mobile phone footage and could have been taken before Waldemar kicked the bucket.

Last February, after much legal wrangling, a compromise agreement was in sight. The defendant seemed to be ready to give way when he said he wanted to see the bucket to inspect it for damage: “I have not even seen the bucket, so far,” he claimed.

In April, however, Waldemar demanded that experts carry out an experiment to see whether a kick could damage a plastic bucket. An expert witness, who has written a book on plastic buckets - and after consultations with a plastic bucket manufacturer - stated that such a possibility existed.

Waldemar J.’s gamble had failed and he was found guilty by the court. But Waldemar was not about to give in and immediately launched an appeal.

This week, much to Waldamar’s relief , his campaign for justice finally ended. A district court in Opole dropped the case. “It should never have even begun,” said the judge.