Crowbar attacker avoids jail with cook's course
A man charged with 39 offences, including more than 20 burglaries and aggravated assault with a crowbar, was sentenced by a court in the canton of Bern not to a jail sentence but to a cooking course.
The 20-year-old Kosovar was arrested with an older accomplice after he used a crowbar to beat a resident who surprised the pair during a burglary in January 2012 at a Shell gas station in Thun.
During a three-day trial that ended on Wednesday, the man admitted to his involvement in 23 burglaries and break-in attempts as a member of a gang, the Berner Oberländer reported online on Thursday.
With regard to the Shell station assault, however, he and his accomplice accused each other of wrongdoing.
“Neither of them has told the truth in this room,” judge Peter Moser said, according to the Berner Oberländer.
The Kosovar was convicted of attempted aggravated bodily assault largely because of DNA evidence found on the crowbar.
He was also found guilty of damage to property, trespassing, false accusations and drug violations.
But this long list of crimes was not enough to merit a prison sentence.
The judge argued that an apprenticeship as a cook would better help the young man integrate into society than a term behind bars.
However, under the terms of the sentence if the man does not complete his apprenticeship in the kitchen he faces up to three and a half years in jail, the Berner Oberländer said.
The man’s defence lawyer supported the decision, saying that it is “of little use to just imprison offenders”.