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Elderly Swede fined for dumping water on smoking neighbour

Elderly Swede fined for dumping water on smoking neighbour

Published: 20 Nov 2010 11:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Nov 2010 11:30 GMT+01:00

An 83-year-old man from Sölvesborg in southern Sweden has been convicted for extinguishing a neighbour’s cigarette with a bucket of water.

However, because of his age, the 83-year-old will only have to pay his neighbour 3,120 kronor ($450) in compensation, the local Blekinge Läns Tidning (BLT) newspaper reports.

The man doused his neighbour on a particular hot summer night back in August when he was having trouble sleeping.

The he man opened his window to cool off his bedroom only to be met with a cloud of cigarette billowing up from the balcony below.

Angered, the 83-year-old took drastic measures to help clear the night air of the pungent fumes.

“I went and fetched a bucket from the closet and filled it with water. Yeah, then the cigarette was put out,” the 83-year-old to BLT at the time charges were filed against him.

The neighbour reported the man’s actions to police, claiming that the old man’s assault was a premeditated attack.

In handing down its ruling against the 83-year-old, court cited the man’s age as well as the explanation he gave for his actions. According to the court, there were little grounds to punish him to the full extent of the law for the molestation charges against him.

Instead, the court ordered the man be released, but instead pay his neighbour for damages suffered in the incident.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:44 November 20, 2010 by hunnysnowbee
How rediculous! The water didn't harm that guy at all, however, breathing in the smoke from his cigarette could have posed a health hazard to the elderly man, yet that is not addressed. Crazy world we live in today.

Mind you, it may have been better if the elderly man had approached the situation, by politely asking the man to smoke else where, explaining that smoke was bothering him.
12:13 November 20, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
I agree. There could have been other measures to stop the smoker, but to charge him? Please. The police should have talked to the smoker and kindly asked him/her to not smoke, and reprimanded the angry neighbor.

-HSII
12:28 November 20, 2010 by BelindaC
No you could not get a 'cloud' of cigarette smoke going from one flat to another that would be a health hazard to anyone. Attacking someone with water is an assault, and while the compensation awarded may be on the high side, the offence should still be recorded as assault.
12:49 November 20, 2010 by helveeta
Why is this man being convicted of simply dumping water on someone yet the two men who physically assaulted a doctor in Orebro, because he was a man, aren't??
12:49 November 20, 2010 by eZee.se
Give the old guy a medal and the looney woman a ciggy patch.
13:14 November 20, 2010 by BCR
I agree. Give the old guy a medal.

Some of these smokers are so damned selfish. If they want to sit in the stench created by their cigarette smoke, why don't they do it inside their own apartment, instead of standing on their balconies and letting it waft into everyone else's apartment.
13:34 November 20, 2010 by Wertyx
What a shameful sentence.

I bet the judge was a smoker too... Ho wait maybe not, he was just swedish with a "noll tolerance" towards bullies... and the old surely was a dangerous man who traumatized his victim for life.
13:57 November 20, 2010 by RedEagle
5 min cigarette through a floor could have "posed a health hazard to the elderly man" how ridicules is that.

lets put it this way, a guy smoking in the street and someone is living the first floor.

this kind of crazy neighbor he will bother you on anything you do, and this time he was unable to sleep and needed to feel some action in his life.

if its open sky, ask politely or keep your mouth shut.
14:06 November 20, 2010 by dtes
I would do the same , i dont want to breath no idiots cancer! Im willing to FIGHT for MY LIFE!
14:41 November 20, 2010 by HYBRED
The old man is nothing but a thug, just like the rest of the elderly in this country. He deserved some serious jail time. he should condider himself lucky that he just got a fine.
14:52 November 20, 2010 by Rick Methven
@HYBRED "The old man is nothing but a thug, just like the rest of the elderly in this country"

I wonder if you take that attitude when you are old:LOL

On the other hand maybe some old guy will drop the whole bucket on your head and then you will never get old
15:37 November 20, 2010 by HYBRED
@Rick Methven "On the other hand maybe some old guy will drop the whole bucket on your head and then you will never get old "

The old guy better do a good job of it, because if he doesn't he will be in the hospital getting that bucket surgicaly removed from his a**.

I am a retiree, but don't qualify as being elderly. But the elderly in this country are worse than all the street gangs and outlaw bikers put together.
16:30 November 20, 2010 by Seamus Guevara
i'd smash the granny outta that
19:28 November 20, 2010 by ehwhat?
Hot night. Bucket of water. I would think that this was a benefit not an assault. Did the smoker melt? Was some electronic toy fried? Have cigarettes gone that far up in price? What a ridiculous judgment.
19:54 November 20, 2010 by Swedesmith
The elderly are thugs? Do they have a gang...Hell's Gubbes? Do they roam around in packs assaulting helpless teenagers? I don't think so.

Probably just a crotchety old fart who has now had his wings clipped. I doubt he will do that again.
20:12 November 20, 2010 by diegoveggie
hahaha he should have used acid, although at least cancer will take care of that smoker sooner or later
20:59 November 20, 2010 by spo10
poor old man! he had to pay for just a bucket of water? lucky bast@rd of a neighbor...tsk...
22:07 November 20, 2010 by Nilspet
A gold medal to the old man. I admire his action to save his own life from toxic smoke.
22:24 November 20, 2010 by wxman
Maybe this will teach the old pr*ck a lesson. We still have our freedoms in spite of what old Nazis think.
23:44 November 20, 2010 by BERTRAM
Smoking is the privilege of the free minds,,,look at Ricky in Casablanca.
01:53 November 21, 2010 by DAVID T
They should have locked him up and thrown away the key - don't know what the world is coming to when a man can't smoke on his own balcony. If the old fart don't like it then he should move.
02:21 November 21, 2010 by heu
@DAVID T: How about "A man can't throw a bucket of water from his own balcony. if the neighbour doesn't like it, he should move." ?

While the man should have asked politely, the smokers should think of others too. But people that smoke never seem to worry about that.
12:31 November 21, 2010 by Nilspet
Totally agree with heu that "smokers never seem to worry about that." It has been proved scientifically that inhaling cigarette smoke is very harmful to the body (even though you do not smoke). Smokers should be punished for indirectly harming other people's health no matter where.
13:29 November 21, 2010 by alingsaskev
Isn't it funny how quickly people condemn smokers. They are such an easy target. I just read the above comments and my jaw dropped in incredulity. Yes cigarette smoke is harmful, and rightly Smoking has been banned in public spaces, enclosed places and anywhere second hand smoke could endanger the public health. Those poor nicotine addicted fools who continue to smoke and who haven't the willpower or the inclination to kick the habit have already been ostracised by society and can be seen huddled outside restaurants, bars, cinemas, shopping centres in the cold and rain. This is their choice and most smokers are resigned to the fact that if they wish to keep smoking they must abide by societies rules and do so outside.

Is it right then that non smokers have the right to dictate what smokers do in their own homes? The woman in this article was smoking outside, on her balcony, in her home. Is it right that someone who disliked this can take it upon themselves to, in effect, crash into the sanctity of her home and douse her with water. No, it isn't, and that in effect is what the judge in this case upheld. Drinking alcohol is harmful to the body, and the effects of being drunk on the street or in a bar are incredibly antisocial. Should we allow the police to use water cannons on drunk people on the street? Spitting, something all Swedes appear to accept as normal behaviour is incredibly antisocial, and can spread TB, should we, the public, be allowed to throw buckets of water over people we see spitting? Tolerance and an understanding nature are supposed to be cherished Swedish traits. What is the more antisocial - Smoking and unintentionally harming someone else or taking it upon oneself to intentionally harm someone with an unprovoked attack?
14:36 November 21, 2010 by Twiceshy
.

.

.

.

.

SMOKERS mark the post!

.

.

One day - since smoking does CAUSE cancer, anyone smoking near another person will be charged with assault. It is an attack on the NON-SMOKER.

.

.

.

.

I long for the day all smokers must smoke in their own glass box. Soon. So soon!
16:00 November 21, 2010 by alingsaskev
@Twiceshy

PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEX mark the post!

One day - since unprotected sex does CAUSE cervical cancer, anyone having sex with another person will be charged with assault. It is an attack on the WOMAN.

I long for the day all men must wear condoms at all times, even if they are married. Soon, so soon!
17:57 November 21, 2010 by HYBRED
You should tread lightly when it comes to complaining and ridiculing people for something they have a right to do, because you come off sounding like a Nazi. In a democracy you should support every right you have weather you like it or not, because you cannot afford to loose any rights whatsoever.
23:28 November 21, 2010 by samwise
is it just me that average smokers I have run into are nicer than average anti-smokers. most non-smokers are reasonable though.
00:27 November 22, 2010 by Swedesmith
Depends on what they're smoking....
07:21 November 22, 2010 by wabasha
I dont agree with what he did. but any good vigilante would have got revenge a more silent way, perhaps with glue in her door lock, a punture in her cycle tire.... just to name a few
09:53 November 22, 2010 by HYBRED
He isn't a vigilante, he is a thug. And now he has a criminal record to prove it.
12:31 November 22, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@hybred; from reading your posts you're the one showing aggression, so you are a potential thug.

As an EX-smoker I think the old man did the right thing, it should be illegal to smoke on the balcony of any apartment, in fact it should be illegal to smoke if there is the slightest chance that a non-smoker may get a whiff of the poisonous gases.

Smoking is a curse the only people it benefits are the owners of tobaccos companies & the tax man.

He should've got the fire hose!!

@alinsaskev:- Get your facts right or at least tell the whole story before mouthing off!!
13:50 November 22, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ Alf Garnet

I do have my facts right?

Which of my facts above are untrue?

1.Second Hand smoke causes cancer

2.HPV transmitted by unprotected sex causes Cervical Cancer

3.Spitting on the street spreads TB

4.Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for amongst other things Liver, Mouth, Pancreatic and Bowel Cancer and it also responsible for lawlessness and alcohol induced assaults.

Please let me know which of the above are untrue and I will quite happily retract my comment.
19:48 November 22, 2010 by HYBRED
@Alf Garnet

By you showing support for the old man assaulting someone shows aggression. Just because you are a ex-smoker doesn't give you more rights than anyone else or put you above the law. It compares to a smoker dumping a bucket of water on you because you don't smoke. Would you be okay with that?

If anybody walks in any centrum they get poisonous gases in their face. So I guess we should throw buckets of water on the bus drivers too?
21:42 November 22, 2010 by flintis
@ alingsaskev:-you must be either a journalist or a politician.

What's the difference between # since unprotected sex does CAUSE cervical cancer & 2.HPV transmitted by unprotected sex causes Cervical Cancer?

Alfs statement was correct # at least tell the whole story before mouthing off!!
22:02 November 22, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@hybrid:- can't compare it to:- It compares to a smoker dumping a bucket of water on you because you don't smoke. Different situation, your comment being wanton aggression, wereas the old man had obviously a point to prove & if you knew the story maybe had put up with provocation from the neighbour for a while.

@alingsaskev:- you were conveniently conservative with your statement #26, unprotected sex CAN cause cervical cancer. Your second statement you include the fact that one party is already infected with HPV. Your § 4 is also a summation, excessive alcohol consumption CAN be responsible for ....., same as, smoking CAN cause cancer & spitting on the streets is disgusting.
23:50 November 22, 2010 by HYBRED
@Alf Garnett

Just because I make a fair comparison my statement is "wanton aggression"? Obviously you don't know any more to the story because you write "maybey" he had a point to prove. So you don't know anything about it and you are making up unfounded scenarios. Get your facts straight and cut the BS.

Did you ever consider the old man might also be a smoker? Maybe he DIDN"T get any "provocation" from his neighbor. How would you know? Your statements are wanton ignorance.
00:43 November 23, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ alfg Garnett and flintis.

Okay, so we are splitting hairs, I am neither a politician nor a journalist, nor a solicitor so, can we agree therefore that:

- Smoking can cause cancer,

- Unprotected sex can cause cancer (not to mention other ghastly diseases)

- Drinking can cause cancer (diabetes, sclerosis, etc.)

- Spitting can spread TB

My point is, that we are organic beings, we are born and from that moment onward we begin to decay - our cells break down and we begin to die. Now the choices that we make in our lives and the environments that we are subjected to will alter the rate at which we perish - however the variables are immense. Sunshine, Mobile phones, Bonfires, Fatty Foods, Salt, Car exhaust, E numbers, Barr Epstons Virus, TBE, Drug use, Luminous wristwatches - the list goes on. However, unless we all surround ourselves in our own bubble and drink and eat nothing but (well quite frankly I cannot imagine what we could in fact eat or drink that will in some way not harm us), we will all perish.

Now I take your argument, that eliminating as many these poisons from our system is our best option, however we do not live in an ideal world, there is no utopia and in the case that we are discussing - the diffused puffs of a single cigarette from a balcony below is unlikely to be the final nail in the old man's coffin and his actions in response were excessive. The lady below unintentionally invaded the old man's private space - he on the other hand intentionally invaded hers. He was in the wrong whereas she was doing something entirely legal in her own home.

Bashing Smokers as I said is an easy thing to do, however, until there is a complete ban on smoking and it is made illegal, tolerance should be the order of the day. After all, the man probably did more damage to his body eating Meatballs and Lingonsylt that evening than inhaling a couple of lung fulls of second hand smoke.
01:18 November 23, 2010 by Da Goat
This does not constitute a valid case!

most people forget that for every right there is a counter right!

one party has the right to smoke and the other has the right to clean air, so both parties are in fact right in their actions it was the judge who got it wrong he/she should have thrown out the case or awarded both parties damages!

personally I would have accidentally lost the whole bucket on her head especially if she is a painful cow neighbour (who would complain about a little spilled milk....oops water)

DO not Forget "FOR EVERY RIGHT THERE IS A COUNTER RIGHT"

if you express the right to life you are also alluding to the right to die! for example!

every one has the God given right to chose as well.
01:43 November 23, 2010 by alingsaskev
@ da Goat

That is an absolutely valid point and I can find no logical fault in your argument, however as with all philosophical arguments it is black and white and if you don't mind me saying a little existentialist.

Your argument is that everyone has the right to do as they wish - or at least what they see as right. A society does not work that way and most things are shades of grey. The reasons that societies have laws is precisely to prevent this kind of anarchy, and the rule of the majority is upheld. It is not a perfect system - but it is the best that we have and in so following the Judge was right in his/her ruling. The woman was doing something that in the eyes of the law was within her right; the man on the other hand did something that was not in his right to do.

The only way that this can be altered in a democracy, is for people like yourself and the others above who have shown similar beliefs to actively attempt to alter the law. If the majority strongly believe with you that smoking is not to be tolerated anywhere then it should be made illegal and this case would not have generated such debate - the woman would have not had the law on her side.

However oddly enough she would still probably have had some recourse against the man even if she had been smoking illegally as, as the old adage says - two wrongs do not necessarily make a right,
07:18 November 23, 2010 by Alf Garnett
@hybrid:- I'm making up scenarios?, read your own posts.
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