US & Canada

Barefoot Bandit Colton Harris-Moore sentenced again

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Media captionPeter Bowes, in Los Angeles, has more on the "Barefoot Bandit" - 20-year-old Colton Harris-Moore

The notorious 20-year-old former fugitive known as the Barefoot Bandit has been sentenced by a federal judge to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Colton Harris-Moore, who was handed a nearly seven-year jail term for state crimes last month, was sentenced again in Seattle for federal offences.

The term will be served concurrently with his state prison time.

He made international headlines during two years on the run, evading police and stealing cars, boats and planes.

He has been permitted to sell the film rights to his life, to repay his victims.

'Lucky to be alive'

Footprints left at some of the crime scenes earned him his nickname.

He told the court on Friday: "What I did could be called daring, but it is no stretch of the imagination to say that am lucky to be alive... absolutely lucky."

"I should have died years ago."

Harris-Moore, who gained cult status during his two years on the run, was arrested in the Bahamas in 2010 when authorities shot the motor of a boat he stole.

He arrived in the Bahamas after making his way across country in stolen boats and cars, then stealing a plane in Indiana - despite having no formal pilot's training - and crash-landing it off the Caribbean islands.

In a filing in federal court on Thursday, attorneys produced excerpts from emails in which Harris-Moore boasted of his crimes and insulted the authorities.

In the correspondence, he referred to his prosecutors as "fools", the sheriff of Island County as "king swine" and reporters as "vermin".

He also described his plane-stealing feats as "amazing" and said they were unmatched by anyone except the Wright brothers.

But defence lawyers said the writings were simply adolescent bravado and did not reflect his true remorse.

Referring to his decision to sell his movie rights, he said in an August email: "I feel a sense of responsibility to people on Camano Island and San Juans. They are the only reason I did this."

And in December he wrote: "I know what I did was wrong; I feel bad for the victims and will make things right any way I can; am ashamed of myself."

His crime wave began in 2008, after he absconded from a halfway house in Seattle where he had been placed following previous run-ins with the police.

He was the primary suspect in at least 65 investigations across Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, and parts of Canada.

A psychological profile submitted to the court said that he had been damaged by a troubled childhood.

The judge who sentenced Harris-Moore last month said his case represented a "triumph of the human spirit".

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