A 76-year-old man from the Italian town of Pordenone has been found guilty of race-based stalking. Whenever he met immigrants, he would do a Roman salute and hum the fascist tune "Faccetta Nera" ("Black Face"). He also sent out postcards with the message "You are born Italian, you don't become it".
A 76-year-old man from the town of Pordenone in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region was sentenced to a year and ten months in jail for race-based stalking against immigrants living near him.
He was also found guilty of disfigurement of three vehicles, bodily harm caused by pepper spray, threats, and violence against individuals.
He reportedly downplayed his actions in court and denied the more salient aspects of the accusations.
He also apologized for his use of a few "too many words", and his lawyer argued in court that technically the acts of vandalism that his client was accused of could not be proven since no one had seen them cause any damage.
Roman salute and fascist tune
Every time the elderly man met his neighbors -- an Albanian family, one from Central Africa, and a Moroccan man -- he hummed the fascist tune "Faccetta Nera" ("Black Face"), raising his arm in a Roman salute.
He is also reported to have left on numerous occasions postcards in the postal boxes (or sent) that showed Mussolini, and once a swastika, with messages saying "You are born Italian, you don't become it." He also wrote insults and racial insults, railing against Muslims using curse words and calling them "assassins", telling them to "go home".
Prosecutor had asked for 4 years and 9 months
The defendant got off relatively easy compared with what the prosecutor has asked for: a prison sentence of four years and nine months. The judges instead excluded some aggravating circumstances.
The man found guilty will nonetheless have to repay the damages caused and the legal expenses incurred by those who brought the case against him, with a down payment of €5,000 euros.
The man claimed he had been attacked twice by one of his neighbors in 2017 -- cases currently pending -- and that over the past two years and a half years his relations with his neighbors had been calm.
However, according to the charges, he had spit at the immigrants; vehicles and had used pepper spray against one of the victims, harming their eyes after an argument. The victim had suffered visual problems for 33 days afterwards.
The defendant had also allegedly tried to make the head of one of the families swerve off the road while they were driving a camper.