Guilty verdict for German school massacre dad

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A German court on Thursday handed down a 21-month suspended jail sentence to the father of a teenager who shot dead 15 people before killing himself at his old school in 2009.

Joerg Kretschmer, a 52-year-old businessman, was found guilty of manslaughter and for breaking gun laws.

His son Tim, 17, was able to take his father's 9mm Beretta pistol in March 2009 and use it in his killing spree in the southern town of Winnenden.

Fearing a break-in, Joerg Kretschmer kept his gun by the bedside, rather than locking it away, a mistake prosecutors said cost the lives of nine of Tim's fellow students, three teachers and three others.

It was the worst school shooting in Germany since April 2002, when 19-year-old Robert Steinhaeuser, a disgruntled student from Erfurt in eastern Germany who had been expelled, killed 16 people and then himself.

© 2011 AFP

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