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Germany

Swiss schoolboys given lengthy sentences after Munich rampage

Three Swiss youths have been sent to prison after they turned violent on a school trip to Munich last year. Fuelled by booze and marijuana, the teenagers beat up five strangers in a park, causing serious injuries.

A gavel, scales, and a book

The youngsters were given lengthy sentences, but not the maximum

Three schoolboys from Switzerland were all sentenced to prison-terms in Munich on Monday, after they went wild on a school trip in the German city, beating up five passers-by at random.

The supposed ringleader, Mike B. - who apparently began the drink- and drug-fueled attacks because he felt irritable - was given seven years for attempted murder and causing severe bodily harm.

Meanwhile, his accomplices, Benjamin D. and Ivan Z., were given 58 and 34 months in prison respectively.

"The sentence could have been harsher," prosecutor Claus-Peter Gantert said after the trial. The youths, who committed the attacks when aged 16, could have faced a maximum of ten years in prison under German juvenile law

One victim still suffering

The boys had taken alcohol and marijuana, which they had brought with them on the school trip, to a Munich park on the night of July 1, 2009. They then beat up five random men, causing severe injuries in some cases.

According to a spokesman for the court, an insurance salesman, whom the youths knocked to the ground and then struck repeatedly on the head, was "still suffering in a very severe way" from his injuries.

The court also heard that the boys kicked and punched two others until they lost consciousness.

When passing sentence, the presiding judge noted that the teenagers had either submitted confessions, or at least spoken about their actions during the trial.

They have also offered to pay compensation to the people they assaulted.

It's possible that the teenagers could serve some of their jail time in Switzerland.

The courtroom was closed to the public and media during the trial in accordance with German juvenile law.

Author: Mark Hallam (AFP, apn, dpa)
Editor: Michael Lawton

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