News24

Axe-wielding teen sentenced

2010-04-29 18:02

Ansbach - A disturbed youth, 19, who was shot by German police last year as he attempted to embark on a school massacre, was sentenced on Thursday to nine years' detention with an instruction to keep him in a psychiatric hospital.

Georg R, who was in his final year of secondary school at the time, was convicted of 47 accounts of attempted murder, a court spokesperson told reporters.

The court earlier heard that he had always been fascinated by news reports about school shootings, and once even asked if he could write about shootings as an essay topic at school.

But a friend said it had never seemed as if R really meant to copy other shooters.

He was tried, behind closed doors, under legislation protecting youth. Most media withheld his full surname under German privacy guidelines.

No apology


Armed with petrol bombs and an axe, he attacked teachers and fellow pupils at the Carolinum high school in the German town of Ansbach, 100km north of Munich, last September. He was enrolled in pre-university classes at the academic school.

He injured 15 people, including a girl who suffered critical axe wounds to the head.

His parents said R had always been very private. He only had one friend and felt socially excluded, that boy told the court.

A prosecutor, Juergen Krach, described the accused as "very criminal, arrogant and narcissistic" and said he had not tried to make friends. Psychologists told the court R had a disturbed personality and still did not believe the attack had been wrong.

R offered no apology in court. The prosecutor said it was sheer luck that he had not killed anyone before the police arrived and immobilised the youth, who was 18 at the time, with three bullets.

R's mother sobbed as she told the court the previous day how she had tried to help her son earlier and once sent him for counselling.

The young man has been kept in a closed psychiatric ward of Ansbach's public hospital since the attack and is to continue in treatment rather than move to a youth prison.