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Bloke claims farting is free speech after he was fined hundreds for letting rip

A bloke fined for farting at police while sat on a park bench insists it was "freedom of speech".

He has refused to pay the €500 (£430) for passing wind in front of an officer and is taking the matter to Austria's constitutional court.

The gassy 22-year-old let rip while undergoing a routine identity check from police in an unnamed park on June 5, 2020.

He is named only as Mr AB and is kicking up a stink after losing his latest legal battle to overturn the fine.

A court document describing what happened said his friends laughed at the fart and had "grinned" at the officers.

It adds: “When he released the intestinal gas, the complainant was sitting on a park bench.

"He then lifted his buttocks and tensed up a little before letting the intestinal gas escape.”

Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported that the man appeared in court arguing that his farts weren’t just a childish prank aimed at a police officer.

He claimed they were an expression of free speech and therefore should fall under his fundamental rights.

The judge accepted farting and burping were forms of "social inappropriateness".

  • Pastor says he farts on the heads of worshippers to 'demonstrate God's power'

But said they did not amount to "communicative content" as they contain no speech.

The judge added even if they did feature the ability to communicate with others it would still be considered “a form of expression that transcends the boundaries of decency", according to court documents.

Mr AB's lawyer Matej Zenz said his client is willing to pursue the case until the bitter end and will be appealing the decision in Austria’s constitutional court.

Mr Zenz told Kurier: “It’s a matter of principle for us because it’s petty to get a punishment for a fart.”

Meanwhile, a South African pastor who farts on the heads of his congregation has fired back at criticism, insisting he's demonstrating "God's power".

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Pastor Christ Penelope of the SevenFold Holy Spirit Ministries in the South African province of Limpopo reportedly breaks wind on his church members to supposedly help them become wealthy, it's claimed.

Some devotees are said to wait months to experience the so-called "sacred blow off" and hopefully turn their fortunes around.

Images of the pastor's practice were widely shared on the internet, with photos showing him sitting on a devotee's head, leading to a backlash on social media.

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