German lorry driver
The man claimed he did not mean to harm anyone in the shootingsGetty

A German lorry driver with a "hatred for people" who carried out more than 700 drive-by shootings has been jailed for 10 and a half years.

The 58-year-old, who cannot be named under German privacy rules, fired hundreds of bullets at vehicles at buildings from behind the wheel of his lorry over a five- year period.

Although he claimed not to intend to hurt anyone, one of the bullets he fired ricochet into a woman's neck, leaving her seriously injured.

During the man's trial in Würzburg, south Germany, prosecutors described the man as "frustrated loner with a hatred for people and an affinity with guns," the BBC reported.

The court eventually found the man guilty of four counts of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and dangerous interference with traffic.

He evaded arrest after drivers failed to realise their vehicles had been shot, and because German data protection laws prevented CCTV footage from motorway toll booths being used as evidence.

Investigators finally captured the man last year using licence plate scanners.