I knew that new-fangled internet was gonna be trouble..... KASSEL, Germany (Reuters) - A German cannibal was convicted of manslaughter but not murder Friday for killing and eating a man who had asked to die, and he was sentenced to eight and a half years in jail. The court rejected the prosecution's plea for a murder conviction and life sentence because the victim had instructed Armin Meiwes, 42, to kill him. The act of sexual fetishism, which he recorded on video tape, has sparked shock and fascination around the world. "Both were looking for the ultimate kick," said judge Volker Muetze, explaining the verdict in the central German court of Kassel. "This was an act between two extremely disturbed people who both wanted something from each other." Meiwes could be out on parole in less than five years, but one expert said he doubted the cannibal would be released early. About 100 journalists from Germany and abroad and dozens of people from Kassel attended the last day of the country's most sensational trial in years. "It's too lenient, he should have got life," said Bernd Exner a local resident who queued up for hours to get into the court. "Society needs to be protected from people like that." The prosecution, which had accused Meiwes of killing for sexual gratification a man he should have known was disturbed, said it would appeal. The case could ultimately go before Germany's Supreme Court because it has no legal precedent. The killing was premeditated, but the victim's agreement lessened the guilt. Psychiatrists found Meiwes deeply disturbed but sane. The defense had sought a lesser conviction of "killing on request," a form of illegal euthanasia, but were still pleased. "He's a model prisoner and if he stays that way he could be out by mid-2008," Meiwes's lawyer Harald Ermel told reporters. "He will voluntarily undergo psychiatric therapy to get away from his fetish for men's flesh. I'm sure he won't do anything like this again." INTERNET CONTACT Meiwes, who said in court he had fantasized since puberty about consuming a man to fill the void caused by the sudden departure of his father, had been in touch with hundreds of people on the Internet, where he posted ads seeking fit men for "slaughter." His desires were such that he made models of limbs with marzipan. He built a "slaughter room" complete with butcher's bench and meat hook and a cage in the sprawling half-timbered house in Rotenburg near Kassel left him by his late, domineering mother. The judge said both Meiwes and his victim, a 43-year-old Berlin computer specialist named only as Bernd-Juergen B., had led double lives, with good jobs and "normal" friends who knew nothing of their fantasies, which grew stronger as they found like-minded people on the Web. The fateful meeting came in March 2001 in Meiwes's house after Meiwes responded to Bernd-Juergen B.'s Internet ad seeking someone to bite off his penis and kill him. With no trace of embarrassment, Meiwes told the court how the killing had begun with him trying unsuccessfully to bite off the victim's penis, then cutting it off with a knife. They both tried to eat it raw, and then fried it, trying again unsuccessfully to eat it. Meiwes then waited for hours until the victim, weakened by loss of blood from his wound, fell unconscious shortly after calling out that he needed to urinate. He then laid him out on his butcher's bench and cut him in pieces. He ate 20 kg (44 lb) of the body over the following months, defrosting pieces portion by portion. He kept the skull in the freezer and buried other body parts in his garden. Legal experts expect the case to be appealed and say it could ultimately go to the Supreme Court because it creates a legal dilemma -- does killing a victim who wants to die constitute murder? "We've seen people growing accustomed to a sub-culture that we couldn't imagine existed before this trial," Muetze said. "We've opened a door we would rather close again but which shows how many people in need of help live out their fantasies on the Internet," he said.