(By Florentine Dame and Carsten Linnhoff, dpa)

Bielefeld, Germany (dpa) – A German man who laced his colleagues’ sandwiches and drinks with poison, leaving one in a life-long vegetative state, has been handed a life sentence for attempted murder.

The court in the north-western city of Bielefeld also handed the 57-year-old a preventative detention order as the judges believe he is inclined to seriously offend again.

Prisoners serving life sentences in Germany can apply for parole after 15 years, but a preventative detention order places far greater restrictions on release for prisoners deemed particularly dangerous.

Klaus O, whose full name is withheld in line with German privacy laws, worked at a company in the town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. He was discovered after a co-worker found a white powder on his sandwiches. A hastily installed security camera then caught him in the act.

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Caught by CCTV footage

Footage showed him going to his colleagues’ bags, taking containers out, sprinkling a powder on the sandwiches before calmly re-packing everything.

Investigators found chemicals including lead acetate, cadmium, lead and mercury, as well as a notebook, at Klaus O’s residence. Evidence found on his computer also indicated an interest in chemicals.

The judge presiding over the trial said he was still in the dark about what motivated Klaus O to poison his co-workers’ food and drink between 2015 and 2018. “We know nothing,” he said.

He used his colleagues as ‘test subjects’

A psychologist said during the trial that Klaus O “came across like a researcher who was trying to see how different substances affected rabbits.” Another psychologist said he was not mentally disturbed and should be held criminally liable.

Two of his colleagues suffered serious kidney damage, while another had brain damage and is presently in a vegetative state and has to be cared for by his parents.

Judge Georg Zimmermann said that “materials more dangerous than those used in World War II” were found at Klaus O’s home.

Klaus O did not speak during the trial and did not comment on the verdict.

Author: ANA Newswire