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Teacher Geoffrey Butler Who Taunted German Neighbours With Nazi Salutes Claims He Is Victim

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A maths teacher accused of harassing his German neighbours by playing wartime classics and performing Nazi salutes claims he is the victim of harassment.

Geoffrey Butler subjected Reinhard and Kathryn Wendt to four years of "misery" by loudly playing Vera Lynn's White Cliffs Of Dover, the Dambusters theme tune and Rule Britannia, Medway Magistrates' Court was told today.

It is also claimed the 54-year-old broadcast a Winston Churchill speech.

Butler, who stands accused of racially aggravated harassment, also allegedly whistled patriotic tunes, stared at his neighbours and made a series of unfounded complaints about them. He denies the allegation.

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

But following a row over solicitors' costs from a failed deal over the transfer of a 6ft piece of land, the neighbours fell out, the court heard.

The situation came to a head on July 30 2007 when Butler and Mr Wendt came to blows after the teacher accused his neighbour of throwing something at him as he returned home, the court heard.

Butler claimed Mr Wendt waved a chair at him and was shouting "Get off my land, big head".

A scuffle ensued and Butler said he tried to restrain his neighbour while defending himself.

But Butler, who had no visible injuries following the fight, was arrested and taken to the police station, the court heard.
He was released without charge but the harassment continued, magistrates were told.

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

He told the court there had been so many that certain incidents had been given names including "the fat old trout day" and "the neighbourhood watch issue".

Butler told the court that far from harassing the couple, it was them who had been staring and taking pictures of him.
He said he had only taken pictures of Mr Wendt in retaliation because he believed he was trespassing on his land or damaging his property.

He added that 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 and hearing of his neighbours but told the court he could not whistle.

Butler said: "As far as I was aware, all the issues were to do with what they are now calling civil matters. I was not aware that among these matters were incidents where I was alleged to be racist and I was accused of Nazi abuse."

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.

"What you are saying is that he's allowed to do certain things and I am not. It's totally absurd."

Mr Dickson added: "You do not like Mr and Mrs Wendt, and because you do not like them you decided to make their lives a misery because of Mr Wendt's German origin and because of Mrs Wendt's connection to him.

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