Kent

Maths teacher made Nazi taunts to German neighbours

Kathryn and Reinhard Wendt
Image caption Speaking after the verdict, Kathryn and Reinhard Wendt said they were considering moving house

A maths teacher has been found guilty of harassing his German neighbours by playing wartime classics and performing a Nazi salute.

Geoffrey Butler, 54, subjected Reinhard and Kathryn Wendt to years of "misery", Medway Magistrates' Court was told.

The court heard he played Vera Lynn's White Cliffs Of Dover, the Dambusters theme tune, Rule Britannia and a Winston Churchill speech.

Butler, of Lower Upnor, Kent, was given a three-year conditional discharge.

He was spared jail at the request of his neighbours, who said they did not want vengeance.

'Whistling Dambusters'

Butler was also given a restraining order banning him from playing loud music and being threatening, abusive or insulting towards the couple.

The court heard the relationship between Butler and the Wendts turned sour shortly after they moved next door to the teacher in the village near Rochester in 2007.

Barrister Thomas Daniel referred to several incidents between July 2007 and April 2011 where Butler is alleged to have harassed the couple.

Butler said he did not own any Dad's Army-style music and that he never played music from his house.

The teacher was asked about whistling the Dambusters tune in the sight of his neighbours, but he told the court he could not whistle.

Alistair Dickson, prosecuting, said: "It sounds as though you do not like Mr Wendt very much."

Butler replied: "What do you expect? I have wasted 10 months of my life over this."

Speaking outside the court Mr and Mrs Wendt said they were too frightened to go on living opposite Butler and would have to move.

Mrs Wendt said: "It has been hell. It has been awful.

"We have had nightmares and have not been sleeping. I have just been so upset."

Butler refused to comment as he left the court.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites