Shooter, 81, avoids jail for killing teen burglar

An 81-year-old man avoided a jail sentence on Monday for shooting and killing a teenage intruder who broke into his house in western Germany.

Shooter, 81, avoids jail for killing teen burglar
The 81-year-old shooter arriving in court. Photo: DPA

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The state court in Stade, Lower Saxony, rejected calls from both the state prosecutors and the defence lawyer for Ernst B. to be found not guilty of manslaughter.

But he was given a nine-month suspended sentence, meaning he will not go to prison. 

The teenager broke into the man's home in Sittensen with four other masked men in 2010, threatening him and demanding money.

But when his burglar alarm went off, the pensioner was able to get free and grab one of the guns he kept in the house.

As the raiders fled, he fired several shots, hitting the 16-year-old fatally in the back.

The rest of the gang were jailed for between three-and-a-half and four years. 

The dead boy's family spent years pressing courts and prosecutors to take on the case, which sparked a debate in Germany about the limits of reasonable self-defence.

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German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.