Spending a penny in the street costs Italian man a fine of 10,000 euros

21 Apr

A student who urinated outside in the street in Genoa has been slapped with a fine of 10,000 euros, in a case that has caused consternation in Italy.

The 19-year-old man nipped out of a bar at 3am one night in February to relieve himself in an alleyway in the city’s historic centre.

He said he had no other choice. “The bar we’d been in was closing and there were no others open in the area,” he told a local newspaper.

But he was promptly caught in the act by a pair of patrolling Carabinieri police officers. The student was charged with committing an obscene act in a public place and issued with a fine of 10,000 euros – reduced by two-thirds to 3,333 euros because his father elected to pay up within 60 days.

Italy has plenty of regulations about anti-social behaviour, from dropping cigarette butts in the street to talking on a mobile phone while driving, but they are rarely enforced. In this case, the police appeared to want to make an example out of the student’s behaviour.

The young man’s father said the punishment seemed wildly disproportionate to the gravity of the offence. “When I read the amount of the fine, I thought they’d made a mistake,” the father, identified only as Giorgio, told Corriere della Sera newspaper. “I couldn’t believe it.

“My son shouldn’t have done what he did, but let’s be honest, how many men have never, ever done a wee in the street or down a dark alley?

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