A 33-year-old Norwegian man who hijacked an ambulance in Oslo and then took off on a wild drive that threatened everyone in his path was convicted on seven counts of attempted murder on Thursday. He was sentenced to 12 years of protective custody, meaning he’ll have to prove himself worthy of release.
Judge Martin Eiebakke spent an hour reading the verdict against him, which came after a lengthy trial earlier this spring. He was convicted of trying to kill random victims who were out walking while he careened through the streets of Oslo’s Sinsen and Torshov districts. They included an elderly couple, a mother and her seven-month-old twins in a baby carriage, and two police officers.
The defendant, who was under the influence of drugs at the time, had first crashed his car on October 22, 2019 after losing control at high speed in a roundabout on Trondheimsveien. He managed to get out of the overturned car, carrying luggage that contained more drugs and a sawed-off shotgun. He then hijacked an ambulance dispatched to the scene, threatening the medics sent to help him with the his gun before driving off in the ambulance. That set off a police chase that shocked the nearby residential area.
The man’s defense attorney had sought a mild sentence for his client, claiming he had panicked and never had any intention of killing anyone. The judge ruled in favour of prosecutors, who claimed he was a threat to society and had sought the 12-year-term with forvaring, a form of special custody meant to protect the public. It means the defendant may be held in prison longer than 12 years, with a judge regularly determining whether he can return to society. He must serve at least eight years before he’ll be eligible for parole. He appealed on the spot.