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CRIME

Switzerland jails 84-year-old bank robber

Swiss authorities have sent an 84-year-old bank robber to prison. The man, who robbed the same bank twice, had hoped his age would see him avoid sentencing.

Which way should you go when opening a bank account in Switzerland? Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

A court in the Swiss canton of Lucerne has jailed an 84-year-old man for two years and four months for two bank robberies stretching back across the past decade. 

The man, named in Swiss media as Willi P, has been given a partially suspended sentence and will only need to serve six months. 

The man robbed a bank in Meggen in 2012 and in 2017, stealing around CHF13,000 in total. 

He threatened the bank’s employees with a folding pocket knife placed inside a plastic bag to look like a gun. 

The man avoided jail in 2021 when the case was brought to court, with the judges saying he was too old. 

This time, the cantonal court disagreed. 

“According to the case law of the federal court, even a relatively old age does not in principle justify a particular sensitivity to punishment, which must be taken into account to reduce the sentence,” the court said. 

READ MORE: Why do foreigners ‘commit more violent crimes’ than the Swiss?

Willi P was remorseful, telling the media he was “heartbroken” by what he had done, telling the press his wife had no idea about the robberies. 

“I’m really sorry for everything and felt heartbroken. Afterwards I said to myself: Hey, you are stupid! Why do you still have to do something like this at this age?”

The man pleaded with the court not to sentence him, saying “I’ve been punished enough with my poor health. I am sorry.”

While the court noted that due to the man’s advanced age he may die in jail, this was not enough of an exceptional circumstance to prevent the sentence. 

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CRIME

Drunk policeman shoots up Geneva police station

A Geneva police officer on the drug and alcohol taskforce got drunk last week and fired his gun repeatedly inside a city police station, injuring a colleague, authorities said Monday.

Drunk policeman shoots up Geneva police station

The officer, “under the influence of alcohol, fired his service weapon seven times inside the taskforce offices” last Friday, Olivier Francey, a spokesman for the Geneva judiciary, told AFP.

Five of the man’s colleagues were present, including “one who was hit in the foot and had to undergo surgery,” he said, confirming Swiss media reports.

The officer has been questioned by Geneva’s top prosecutor, and stands accused of endangerment and causing bodily harm through negligence.

He has also been accused of resisting efforts to establish his “capacity to drive”.

The authorities, who did not provide details on what the man’s blood-alcohol level had been at the time, said the investigation was ongoing.

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