BERLIN (AP) — A German court sentenced a male nurse to life in prison on Thursday for killing patients with overdoses of heart medication that he confessed to administering because he enjoyed trying to revive them.
The Oldenburg regional court found the 38-year-old guilty of charges including two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and another of serious bodily harm, court spokesman Daniel Moennich said.
Prosecutors had accused the man, identified only as Niels H in line with German privacy rules, of three murders and two attempted murders during his time working at a clinic in the town of Delmenhorst.
“The court concluded that the accused used the heart medication to bring about a life-threatening situation in five cases, so as to make himself appear particularly competent when he revived them,” Moennich said.
The defendant said during the trial that he intentionally brought about cardiac crises in some 90 patients because he enjoyed the feeling of being able to resuscitate them. He said 30 patients died, and expressed remorse for his actions.
The court found that he bore a “particular severity of guilt.” That means he won’t immediately have a chance of having his life sentence commuted to probation after 15 years, as is normal in Germany.
“These people were pawns in a game for you – a game that only you could win and all the others could only lose,” presiding judge Sebastian Buehrmann told the defendant, according to news agency dpa. Niels H was previously sentenced to 7½ years in prison for attempted murder in 2008.