Drunk British soldier takes tank joyride

A drunk British soldier stole two small tanks from his northern German base for a joyride towards the town of Bergen at 4 am on Friday morning, a British Army spokesperson told The Local.

Drunk British soldier takes tank joyride
A file photo of a British Scimitar light tank from the US DOD.

“He had a blood alcohol content of 1 promille – past the legal driving limit in Germany – and decided he’d like to take one of the vehicles out of camp,” British Army spokesperson Helga Heine said. “At some point he wrecked the tank, got out, went back and got another one and drove it in the same direction, hitting a tree before he was stopped.”

German police in the state of Lower Saxony reported that the 18-year-old Camp Hohne soldier stole two tanks, but Heine said they were actually Scimitars, which are armoured reconnaissance vehicles often called light tanks.

Just before the soldier reached the Bergen city limit, British military police stopped him as he almost rammed an oncoming car, police said. The soldier then ran a patrol car off the road and lost control of the tank, hitting a guide post before being halted by a 75-centimetre-thick tree, police reported.

Military police arrested the soldier and are being assisted in their investigation by German police.

“We all got the giggles when we read this,” Heine told The Local. “But stealing a vehicle is a serious offense and it will be dealt with accordingly.”

Camp Hohne is home to some 2,000 British soldiers and the headquarters of the 7th Armoured Brigade.


German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.