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CRIME

71-year-old: I shot wolf of the century

A 71-year-old German hunter turned himself in to police on Tuesday and confessed he shot the first wolf in the Rhineland for 123 years. He said he thought the animal was a stray dog.

71-year-old: I shot wolf of the century
Photo: DPA

The man showed up at a police station in the small town of Montabaur in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in western Germany. Since the wolf is a protected species, he could face five years in prison.

The man, who comes from the neighbouring state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is the leaseholder of the forested land where the wolf’s body was found by a rambler on Saturday.

A spokesman for the local hunter’s association said the man had thought the wolf was a stray dog which might hunt the wild game on his land. “He is extremely sorry that he shot a wolf,” the man said.

The wolf is thought to be the same one that was spotted and photographed in the Westerwald area at the end of February – the first proven sighting of a wolf in the region for 123 years.

German conservationist society NABU had pressed charges against the unknown shooter. “The killing of this wolf is a malicious act,” said NABU leader Leif Müller.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/bk

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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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