Nightly Chimes Land Priest in Court
A Polish priest was sentenced to 30 hours of community service for disturbing the peace after villagers near his church complained the night-long chiming of the clock was losing them sleep.
"He was sentenced to 30 hours community service for disturbing the peace at night," Zbigniew Mierzejewski, a court official in Rawa Mazowiecka, central Poland, told Agence France Presse Wednesday, adding the verdict was subject to appeal.
The judge handed down the sentence to 54-year-old Roman Catholic priest Father Andrzej Wrobel on June 8, after police referred complaints about the noise to the court in December 2011.
An electronic clock, set to auto-chime, was responsible for the nocturnal clanging, according to Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
Mierzejewski said the clock in the belfry at the old, wooden church in Lewin, a village of about 200 people in central Poland, chimed the hours with the corresponding number of strokes, and also struck once every half hour, even throughout the night.
By law, Polish citizens are entitled to a quiet time between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.