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11 years jail for kidnapping at gunpoint

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11 years jail for kidnapping at gunpoint
Photo: Criminal Court in Graz
10:22 CET+01:00
A 28-year-old Slovakian man was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Graz on Wednesday, for an aggravated car-jacking and armed robbery.
The events occurred in November 2014, when a 26-year-old pregnant woman waiting in a parking lot in Ansfelden, Upper Austria, had the door of her car ripped open, and a gas-powered pistol held to her head.
 
The 28-year-old Slovak man forced the woman to take himself and his 18-year-old female companion on a three hour journey at gunpoint, according to a report from Austria's national broadcaster, ORF.
 
The criminal duo sat in the back seat, with the man holding the gun to the hapless driver's head for some of the journey. He also robbed the woman of €70, which he claimed in the trial she had given to them voluntarily to pay for food.
 
The man ordered the woman to take them to a railway station at Peggau in Styria.  Once the pair had left, the woman quickly sought help at a nearby pub. A fast police response meant that the man and his accomplice, who had some health problems including epilepsy, were quickly arrested.
 
At his trial, the man admitted that he held the gun to her head, but said that after ten minutes he had second thoughts, and decided he had made a mistake, so he put the gun away and apologized.
 
The victim, who at the time of the forced carpooling was pregnant, still suffers from post-traumatic stress, with nightmares and anxiety. The accused had to be taken to another room while she gave her evidence.
 
During questioning, the man explained that the reason he had two guns and several knives with him was because he lived in a forest, and needed to protect himself from wild animals.
 
He was charged with aggravated robbery, and aggravated coercion. The non-final verdict was 11 years in prison.
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