Thursday 21 September 2017

Man given suspended sentence for attempted blackmail of Michael Schumacher's wife and threatening to kill their children

Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna during his time at Ferrari. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Schumacher and his wife Corinna during his time at Ferrari. Photo: Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A man has been given a suspended sentence in Germany for attempting to blackmail the wife of Michael Schumacher and threatening to kill the couple's children.

The 25-year-old decorator, named only as Huseyin B under German privacy laws, admitted demanding €900,000 from Corinna Schumacher.

He warned that an “accident could happen” to Schumacher’s racing driver son Mick.

The then 14-year-old Mick was with Schumacher when he suffered the skiing accident that left him paralysed in 2013.

Huseyin B was apprehended after he made the mistake of including his personal bank account number in the demand.

The court in Stuttgart was told how he sent an email to Mrs Schumacher in February last year in which he demanded “a small donation of €900,000”.

“If the money is not received by March 31, your children will be killed in some way or other. In Formula 4, a lot of accidents happen,” the email read.

Mick Schumacher, who followed his father into motor racing,  was competing in Formula 4 at the time.

Mrs Schumacher immediately reported the threatening email to the authorities in Switzerland, where the couple live. Police were quickly able to trace the bank account number to Germany.

“To put it mildly, to include your own bank account number is not very sensible,” Judge Eberhard Hausch told Huseyin B.

The decorator confessed but told the court he could not explain why he had sent the threatening email.

Prosecutors said he had also planned to send a similar blackmail demand to Erich Sixt, the 72-year-old tycoon behind the Sixt car hire company.

Huseyin B was given a suspended sentence of one year and nine months, and fined €4,500 (£3,850). He was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and undergo therapy.

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