Europe

German motorway shooter jailed for 10 years

The German man given a jail sentence for carrying out hundreds of shootings on German motorways Image copyright AFP
Image caption The court in Germany would not reveal the name of man who shot at hundreds of fellow drivers

A German lorry driver who carried out more than 700 shootings on the country's motorways has been jailed for 10 and a half years.

Over a five-year period, the man fired bullets at passing vehicles and roadside buildings.

One woman was seriously injured after being hit in the neck by a ricochet.

The court in Wuerzburg found the man guilty of four counts of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and dangerous interference with traffic.

The lorry driver, who was not named in line with German privacy rules, was described by prosecutors as a "frustrated loner with a hatred for people and an affinity with guns."

When police arrested him, the man admitted to the shootings but said he had not meant to harm anyone.

Police had offered a reward of 100,000 euros (£79,000; $126,000) for evidence to help bring the gunman to justice.

But they were unable to catch the man for years, partly because drivers did not immediately realise their vehicles had been hit and partly because German data protection laws prevented investigators from using CCTV footage from motorway toll-booths.

They eventually set up licence plate scanners along the highway, comparing the vehicles that passed with the times of the shootings, leading to the man's arrest last year.

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