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German man given life sentence for driving into carnival crowd

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
Crowds of people were celebrating Carnival in Volkmarsen before the attack.
Crowds of people were celebrating Carnival in Volkmarsen before the attack.   -   Copyright  Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP

A German man has been sentenced to life in prison for driving his car into a crowded Carnival celebration last year.

The 31-year-old suspect was found guilty of 89 counts of attempted murder and handed a life sentence on Wednesday.

The man had driven his car deliberately through a crowd of people – including 26 children – in the town of Volkmarsen in February 2020.

Ninety people – who had been watching the traditional “Rose Monday” carnival procession – were injured, including 20 who required hospital treatment.

Prosecutors accused the man of planning the attack in advance and installing a dashboard camera in order to record it. He refused to testify during his trial and the motive for his actions remains unclear.

A court-appointed psychiatric expert said the man could suffer from a previous personality disorder.

The suspect was also found guilty of 88 counts of causing “serious bodily harm” by the regional court in Kassel.

Judges ruled that the defendant, bore “particularly grave responsibility” for the attack, meaning he will not be entitled to automatic parole after 15 years under German rules.