He was found guilty of lying in court, slander and falsely claiming an offence took place. His wife received a conditional sentence of 20 months for defamation. The ruling is not final and the defence has already filed an appeal.
The judge, Hans Barwitzius, described the case as being “like a Hollywood movie”. Police became suspicious about some of the statements given by the “victim” when they found he had no traces of a head injury, despite claiming that his assailants knocked him unconscious.
A relation of the man’s neighbour even spent three months in pretrial detention after he was accused of being involved in the attack.
Last year the 53-year-old claimed that he was attacked as he cycled home one night in Bad Fischau near Wiener Neustadt, by three masked men who pinned him down and carved a swastika into his forehead.
In February this year he apparently invented a second attack – saying he was flagged down at night by a young couple who seemed to have car trouble but was then hit in the back of the head and passed out.
He claimed that on this occasion his attackers had carved a swastika into his chest with a knife. Investigators say he inflicted the wounds himself, in an attempt to frame his neighbours with whom he had a long-running dispute, and get them imprisoned.
Both the man and his wife pled not guilty and insist they are innocent.