Norway court increases sentence of ‘ambulance hijacker’

March 9, 2022 GMT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — An appeals court in Norway increased the prison sentence of a man convicted of stealing an ambulance and driving it along an Oslo sidewalk in 2019, injuring two babies.

In May, the Oslo District Court sentenced the 34-year-old man to 12 years, but the Borgarting appeals court on Wednesday found him guilty of seven counts of attempted murder and added another year in preventive detention to the sentence.

Norwegian media nicknamed the man “the ambulance hijacker.” Authorities have not named him publicly.

He pleaded guilty to drug possession, making threats with a firearm and possession of a weapon in a public place. He denied accusations of attempted murder and making threats against police officers.

Authorities said he pointed a weapon at police officers before stealing the ambulance on Oct. 22, 2019 and speeding through Norway’s capital with police cars in pursuit. The babies, 7-month-old twins, were injured, though not seriously, when the ambulance went on a sidewalk and hit a stroller. An elderly couple dodged the vehicle by diving under a parked car.

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Police shot at the tires and eventually stopped the ambulance by ramming the vehicle.

The man said in court that he did not intend to kill anyone by driving recklessly but needed to transport 50 liters (around 13 gallons) of liquid narcotics to cancel a 50,000 kroner ($5,600) drug debt, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.