Man handed suspended sentence after blackmailing Schumacher family

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

The 21-year-old, named only as Huseyin B under privacy laws, admitted to demanding €900,000 (£768,000) from Corinna Schumacher and threatening to kill the couple's children Gina-Maria and Mick. One of the threats centred around Mick, whose racing career began last year in ADAC Formula 4.

In an email sent to the family which demanded the sum, he said: "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 blackmail attempt was immediately reported to authorities by Mrs Schumacher. Finding the perpetrator turned out to be easy, as he had left his own personal bank details in the email. During the court case it emerged he also planned to blackmail the owner of the Sixt car hire company in a similar fashion.

The convicted man's lawyer said his client "can't until this day explain why" he acted how he did. Huseyin B was handed a suspended sentence of one year and nine months, ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and undergo therapy.

Michael Schumacher continues to undergo rehabilitation therapy in Switzerland after suffering a severe head injury in a skiing accident in December 2013.