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CRIME

Drunk driver plows into crowd, injures 14

A drunken motorist collided with a festive crowd in a small town in Germany on Saturday, hurting 14 pedestrians, including one who was critically injured.

Drunk driver plows into crowd, injures 14
Photo: DPA

Police said the incident happened on Saturday morning at around 10:00 in the state of Lower Saxony.

Several hundred people pulling hand-trucks had obstructed a narrow

alley in the town of Markhausen, a town near the Dutch border, as they were walking through during a traditional excursion.

Why the motorist, a 19-year-old who lives in a neighbouring town, drove into the group was not clear, although he appeared to have been annoyed that they were blocking the street and had honked his horn several times.

He fled on foot, but was caught by police, who said he failed an

alcohol test. Apart from the woman in hospital, two others suffered

serious injuries.

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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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