France Télévisions ordered to pay € 10,000 to “the man with the shovel in his underwear”

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A man who appeared armed with a shovel and in underpants, in a report on the poaching of finches in the Landes, will receive € 10,000 in damages from France Télévsions.

The audiovisual group France Télévisions was ordered on Wednesday to pay 10,000 euros in damages to a hunter in southwestern France who, despite himself, became a star of social networks after appearing in his underwear, armed with a shovel, in a report from 2015.

This judgment of the court of Dax (Landes) which “brings the law into conformity with morality by recognizing this intolerable attack on the right to the image” of Jean-Marc Dutouya, said his lawyer, Me Frédéric Dutin.

On November 9, 2015, half a dozen members of the Bird Protection League (LPO) entered a field in the village of Audon (Landes) to destroy several matoles (small bird traps) in order to denounce poaching finches, a protected species. During this action, regular in this region in this season, the activists and journalists were taken to task by the owners, the Dutouya. The altercation, between insults, threats, pushes and shovels, had lasted several minutes until the arrival of the gendarmes. Mr. Dutouya’s 80-year-old mother had been pushed around. Four journalists’ vehicles had flat tires.

In July 2018, Jean-Marc Dutouya was sentenced on appeal to a fine of 400 euros for violence with a weapon. In the meantime, he had become in spite of himself a star of social networks, where his photo in underwear and T-shirt, armed with a shovel, had been the subject of countless hijackings.

“Can a man at home in his garden be delivered to pasture anyhow? Justice said no”, welcomed Me Dutin, specifying that his client, who claimed 200,000 euros in damages, was “extremely satisfied”.

France Télévisions, which had not reacted at first, will also have to pay 5,000 euros in procedural costs and blur the images of the hunter, according to Me Dutin.