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Judge frees robber 'better than greedy bankers´

By Thomas Hochwarter

A security guard who fled to Austria after stealing more than 100,000 Euros from a damaged safe in Germany was freed by a judge who ruled he was more honest than the bankers who had brought the global economy to its knees.

Night watchman Mirnes H. stole the 107,600 Euros in cash as he was guarding a branch of Commerzbank in Hamburg and fled by taxi to Graz, 1,100 kilometres from Hamburg.

"I had never seen so much money. I thought all my dreams would come true," the 22-year-old told the court yesterday (Weds).

But he blew the entire stash in a casino in Graz trying to raise enough to set him up for life and caught a train back to Hamburg to hand himself in to police.

He could have been jailed for as much as ten years – but judge Björn Jönsson outraged prosecutors when he set the guard free with a suspended sentence saying he was less dishonest than greedy bank bosses.

"When I look at all the bank managers running around free, I ask myself why I should punish the little people," Jönsson said.

Even the defendant’s lawyer Ladislav Anisic was surprised. He said: "Considering the high damage and the loss of the money, a higher sentence would have been reasonable."

The prosecutor plans to appeal the sentence.

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