A Regensburg district court heard that the man had experience of mixing his own rat poison as he was a keen pigeon breeder. He was considered the expert in poison in his village, the Münchner Merkur newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The court sentenced the 52-year-old to 12 years for attempted murder on Monday, after hearing that he had been desperate to have another child after his and his wife's son died of cancer.
The judge took account of the fact that the 53-year-old woman was not expected to suffer any long-term effects from the poisoning attempt - as well as the tragic family circumstances surrounding the entire story.
The couple's son died in the summer of 2011 aged just 20, after contracting testicular cancer. His parents continued share the family home in Salching near Straubing afterwards, but led separate lives, the Münchner Merkur said.
They rarely ate or slept together, but often spent the evenings together watching television and drinking their home-made apple wine. It was this wine that the man laced with rat poison in an attempt to kill his wife.
The court considered it proven that he had wanted to "get rid" of his wife so he could start a new life with a younger woman who could bear children - and so help him get over the death of their son.
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The Münchner Merkur said he regarded the prospect of divorce as too expensive, and his wife had rejected the idea of bringing another woman to live with them in the house.