Computer technician jailed for eating Web surfer

A German computer technician has been sent to prison after admitting to killing and eating someone he met over the Internet

A German computer technician who confessed to being a cannibal received an eight and a half year sentence for manslaughter on Thursday after he admitted killing and eating a "psychologically disturbed" volunteer.

Armin Meiwes, 42, who lived in Rotenburg, near Kassel, placed an advert on the Internet for a boy aged between 18 and 25. Calling himself Franky, he wrote: "Come to me, I'll eat your delicious flesh." Investigators found Meiwes had been in contact with hundreds of potential volunteers, but eventually chose Bernd-Juergen B, 43, who was also a computer specialist.

During the trial, Meiwes told the court that in March 2001, he used a table saw to cut his victim into pieces, froze the flesh -- which he ate piece by piece over the next few months -- and buried the bones in his garden.

Prosecutors failed to make a murder charge stick because the court took into account the fact that Juergen B was a willing victim. Judge Volker Muetze said that although Meiwes had not committed murder, he was guilty of behaviour that was "condemned in our society".

Meiwes made a video of the event, which was shown to the court during a closed session. He could be released early for good behaviour.