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Finger slicer's insurance scam fails

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Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Ralf-Werner arriving in court last week. Photo: DPA
16:05 CET+01:00
An insurance salesman who sawed off his own finger and thumb to claim insurance was given a suspended sentence by a court in northern Germany on Friday.

The court in Norderstedt, near Hamburg, handed down the 22-month suspended sentence to Ralf-Werner D. after he was found guilty of trying to defraud his insurers. 

The 50-year-old man had qualified as an insurance salesman shortly before the 'accident' in February 2010 and took out four separate insurance policies - with special clauses covering finger injuries - for himself.

If valid, they would have paid out a total of €1.4 million.

Ralf-Werner claimed his finger and thumb were lost when he tripped and fell over his two dogs onto a circular saw.

But a medical expert said in testimony to the court that it was "particularly astonishing" that the rest of his hand remained relatively intact.

"If I take out three insurance policies eight weeks before such a serious accident for such an irrational sum, something isn't right," the prosecutor said.

He added that the neat wounds to Ralf-Werner's hand were inconsistent with his story.

"There's a lot of evidence against the accused. There was too little blood on the saw. An automatic car was ready to go. That number of coincidences can't be real."

The fact that the injury happened to Ralf-Werner's non-dominant hand was also a tell-tale sign of fraud, prosecutors said.

“The man sitting here is no fraudster,” his lawyer responded at the time.

But police said there was “very little blood” when they searched the basement for Ralf-Werner's missing digits.

His wife 'found' them outside in the snow a week later.

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