Limburg - A German serial rapist-killer was jailed for life Monday for the deaths of three women.

Truck-driver Marco Metzler, 29, admitted sexually abusing the women before or after killing them. A fourth victim survived after he had plunged a knife in her chest and left her for dead near a highway.

The court in the German city of Limburg rejected claims he was insane.

In two cases, he lured street-side prostitutes in Cologne into the cab of his truck. The other two victims were a 31-year-old Polish woman and an 18-year-old schoolgirl he overpowered on streets at night-time.

Judges said the brutality of the planned attacks between 2003 and 2006 was almost beyond belief.

After nearly killing a 25-year-old woman, he drove to hospital to hold his wife's hand as she gave birth to a son, now 3.

A rider was added to his imprisonment ensuring he cannot be paroled before he has served 25 years. Preventive detention, to be regularly reviewed, will follow that period.

He was convicted of three murders, one attempted murder and multiple rapes. - Sapa-dpa