A bar owner in Belgium has been fined and sentenced to prison for serving one beer after a court ruled he violated coronavirus lockdown rules, according to reports.
Wim Poppe, owner of Gitan restaurant in the Flemish city of Leuven, has been hit with a three-month prison sentence and ordered to pay 1,300 euro (~$1,600) in fines and legal fees by a court, the Brussels Times reports.
Poppe says he was winding down with his girlfriend after a long day serving takeout orders when a loyal customer stopped by his restaurant to say hello.
“He asked how things were going. He then asked if he could come in, and paid 100 euros to support us,” Poppe told VRT. “Out of gratitude, I offered him a glass of beer. And that is when the police arrive.”
One officer reportedly acted within reason, but another demanded Poppe be fined on the spot.
“Stubborn as I am, I said I wouldn’t pay for it, and I wanted to defend myself before the police court,” Wim said. “There I was sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of 1,000 euros and also 300 euros in court costs. But I will definitely appeal and I will look for people who have expertise in that area.”
“The punishment I received is disproportionate.”