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CRIME

Barbed wire attacks leave bikers scared of decapitation

Murder squad detectives in Brandenburg are investigating a series of attacks using barbed wire strung up across routes used by motocross riders which left one man fighting for his life and several others injured.

Barbed wire attacks leave bikers scared of decapitation
Photo: DPA

Bikers are now so scared that someone might end up decapitated that they are avoiding the popular former open cast mine, long a haven for motocross riders.

The barbed wire attacks – which were supplemented by several nail bed traps laid for bikers – at first went unreported because the motocross riders were not supposed to be at the former mine near Senftenberg.

But last year one biker was caught across the throat by a string of barbed wire tied between two trees. His injuries were so life-threatening that he had to be flown by helicopter to hospital.

Fellow bikers decided to take the risk of outing themselves as trespassers on the land – and reported the cases.

“This spring the cases increased so much that we went to the police,” said Atilla Damm from the MCS Hörlitz bike club.

He said the former open cast mine area at Meuro was very popular with bikers and quad riders – particularly after the closure of the club’s own motocross track. He said he was personally thrown from his bike three years ago after hitting a nail bed trap in the former mine.

Cottbus public prosecutor Horst Nothbaum said the investigation was looking at potential grievous bodily harm charges, and was questioning many witnesses as well as those bikers concerned – although only about the attacks, not any trespass issue.

The former mine has been a draw for bikers from the region and beyond for nearly a decade, despite warnings of possible landslips from the company in charge of clearing it up.

DAPD/The Local/mdm

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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