Europe

Man who tried to rob closed bank in Germany jailed

A man who tried to hold up a bank that had been closed for years has been jailed by a court in Germany.

The man tried to hold up the branch in the northwestern town of Walchum in May with a toy gun and robbed a passer-by.

But the branch moved years ago, with only cash machines left. After first demanding a 10,000 euro (£8,600) ransom for the woman, he forced her to withdraw 400 euros and fled.

The Bild newspaper branded the man "Germany's stupidest bank robber".

The 57-year-old got a seven-year jail sentence for the robbery.

The building had been converted into a physiotherapist's practice after the bank had moved out.

The man escaped in a stolen car which he then abandoned, but left the toy gun between the seats with his fingerprints on it, AFP reports.

The court heard that the man had confessed to the crime and that he was a serial offender, having 22 previous convictions.

His criminal past was taken into account in his sentencing, along with the fact that the woman he had robbed was still suffering health problems as a result, the court said.