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82-year-old German gets 'last warning' for marijuana dealing

June 5, 2023

A court in Germany's Lower Saxony has handed the man a suspended sentence, adding that it was his last chance to avoid jail. The retired sailor has 24 previous convictions and an ongoing suspended sentence.

Aurich district court (Landgericht)
The district court in the northwestern German town of Aurich has convicted a 82-year-old retired sailor of dealing cannabisImage: Lars Penning/dpa/picture alliance

A German man on Monday was handed a suspended sentence at the age of 82 for dealing cannabis.

The pensioner, who is a former sailor, was convicted of dealing several dozen grams of marijuana in 2022 and at the start of 2023.

What we know about the case

The ruling was delivered by the district court in the town of Aurich in East Frisia, in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony.

The defendant admitted to the charges, saying that he began selling the drug due to the fact that his pension of €800 ($855) was insufficient to cover his living costs.

Prosecutors had asked the court to impose a 34-month prison term due to the man's criminal record, which included 24 previous convictions and an ongoing suspended sentence.

Judges said that the defendant's case was a special one due to his poverty and health problems.

"We have taken into account the circumstances in which you did this," the presiding judge in Aurich said, addressing the defendant.

However, the judge said that this was the man's "very last warning" to avoid jail.

The man has been assigned a probation officer by the state, and the ruling can still be subject to appeal.

sdi/rc (dpa, AP)