A plastic gun and a fake euro bank note lie in a pool of red paint
A plastic gun and a fake euro bank note lie in a pool of red paint Reuters

A man who attempted to hold up a bank that closed 17 years ago was jailed for seven years in a case which the tabloid Bild called "Germany's dumbest bank robber".

The defendant, identified in court papers as 57-year-old Siegfried K., arrived at the building with a toy gun in May.

Upon entering the lobby of the building, he seized a female "hostage" whom he planned to use to demand £8,600 (10,000 euros) in ransom from bank employees.

"This plan failed, however, due to the fact that the building has not held a bank for more than a decade and is now a physiotherapy practice," the court said in a statement.

The building was only equipped with cash machines after the bank had relocated 17 years ago.

"After the defendant recognised the situation, he changed his plan and demanded a passer-by withdraw money from the cash machine," the court said.

"She withdrew 400 euros and the defendant made off with the cash in a car he had stolen."

He later abandoned the vehicle but forgot to take the plastic pistol, which was covered with his fingerprints.

After he was apprehended, the defendant confessed to the robbery and received a seven-year sentence due to 22 previous convictions over the past 40 years, the court said.