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'Phone box kidnapper' sent to mental hospital

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'Phone box kidnapper' sent to mental hospital
Photo: DPA
09:23 CEST+02:00
A man who turned his Hamburg flat into a prison, complete with a sound-proofed telephone box and more than a tonne of food, and then kidnapped a woman to keep her there and have babies with, has been sent to a mental institution.

The 30-year-old man suffered from a severe psychiatric disorder and could not be held responsible for his actions, the Hamburg district court ruled on Wednesday. He was not convicted of a crime, but will be admitted to a psychiatric institution.

The man, identified only as Thomas F. not only led an isolated life, he never had a relationship with a woman – and gradually believed himself to be abnormal and became obsessed with the desire to have a family.

He tried to make contact with young women several times, and even stalked the actress Eva Habermann, camping in her garden in 2003 and writing her letters.

His problems came to a head last August when he kidnapped an Israeli woman at gunpoint and locked her in his flat. He told the 26-year-old he was in love with her and would not let her return to Israel.

He had barricaded the windows of his flat with pieces of wood and rolls of barbed wire. Inside he had hoarded around 1.6 tonnes of food and toiletries.

He had fertility drugs and medical equipment, which it is thought he wanted to use in his bid to get the woman pregnant.

She managed to escape by jumping out of the window.

He told the court he would not appeal the sentence and apologised to his victims.

DAPD/The Local/hc

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