Pota-toe blight

July 12, 2002

Following on from our Diary item of June 7, judges in Holland have found guilty Teunis Teun, 39, the man accused of breaching the peace after baring his feet in public. Mr Teun was last week fined €250 (£160) after repeatedly removing his shoes and socks in the Technical University of Delft's library, despite clear signs forbidding it.

As part of his trial, Mr Teun took off his socks for the judge and jury to smell. One observer described the fragrance as being like two-week-old rotten potatoes.

After receiving the fine, Mr Teun told the newspaper Gelders Dagblad that he would apply for political asylum in Germany. He made the decision after seeing German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, in a magazine, seated on a bench next to a barefooted woman. He wrote to Mr Schroder: "I'm happy to see that you are not so small-minded as the Dutch people."

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