German homeless man who wanted jail gets life for attack on cyclist

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image captionThe victim was cycling on a bicycle path when he was attacked (file pic)

An unemployed man who was living out of his car has been given life in jail by a German court for deliberately knocking down a cyclist in an attempt to get a prison sentence.

The cyclist, who was unknown to the attacker, was seriously injured in the attack on a bicycle path in the northern state of Lower Saxony.

Judges in Oldenburg said the 62-year-old homeless man had been seeking "all-round care in a penal institution".

They ruled he was motivated by greed.

The court heard how the man had lost his job as a computer scientist and had then blown his savings on a trip around Europe.

By the time of the attack he had no home and his car's licence had long expired.

He drove into an oncoming cycle lane and hit his 48-year-old victim. The judges ruled that this action as well as his motive of greed in seeking permanent care in jail were malicious and therefore qualified as attempted murder.

The cyclist is still suffering from the psychological as well as the physical effects of the accident.

A court spokesman said the driver had since shown some remorse and had decided to hand his pension payments to his victim.

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