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Austrian man convicted of deliberately infecting his ex-wife with COVID-19

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Illustrative picture: A medical staffer takes swabs as he tests for COVID-19
Illustrative picture: A medical staffer takes swabs as he tests for COVID-19   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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An Austrian man has been convicted of intentionally infecting his ex-wife with COVID-19 by coughing at her.

Judges at Linz regional court heard how the defendant had coughed at his former partner after learning that he had tested positive for the virus.

He had not worn a mask at home and tried to infect the victim -- a 70-year-old woman -- while they were still living in the same house pending the completion of their divorce proceedings last November.

Judges found the man guilty of attempted serious bodily harm on Monday and handed him a nine-month sentence, suspended for three years.

The 63-year-old man -- whose name wasn't released for privacy reasons -- was also convicted of threatening the victim and lesser bodily harm for grabbing her throat and urging her to leave their shared house.

He was ordered to pay €1,000 in damages to his ex-wife, who has since recovered from her COVID-19 infection, court spokesman Walter Eichinger said.

Neither the defendant nor prosecutors planned to appeal the sentence. The man had initially denied the charges.