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German police arrest suspect in murder of Nottingham gamer

German police in the state of Hesse on Thursday have arrested a man suspected of murdering a 20-year-old student from Nottingham, England in an incident that appears to have been sparked by an online dispute.

German police arrest suspect in murder of Nottingham gamer
Murder victim Matthew Pyke. Photo: Nottinghamshire Police

“With information from the Nottinghamshire police and an intense investigation by the Limburg-Weilburg department, a 21-year-old suspect was arrested under suspicion of murder,” police spokesman Bruno Reuscher told The Local on Thursday, adding that there was an internet connection between the two young men.

“Work between the Limburg-Weilburg station and the Nottinghamshire police is running smoothly and successfully,” he said.

In a hearing before a Limburg judge this afternoon, the suspect was ordered to remain in police custody while awaiting extradition to Britain.

The arrest in Hünfelden near Wiesbaden came following a Nottingham police investigation into the late Matthew Pyke’s online gaming hobby.

Pyke, who would have started courses at Nottingham Trent University in October, was found stabbed to death in his flat by girlfriend Joanna Witton on September 19.

Police have been investigating the couple’s connection to a website, Wars Central, for fans of the computer fantasy game Advance Wars, where the couple acted as co-administrators.

Pyke, known as “Shade” on the site, allegedly had an argument with the German gamer who may have sought revenge, the Nottingham Evening Post reported. The site has since been closed to new registration “to protect the privacy of our users,” a site administrator wrote on Thursday.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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