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CRIME

Policewoman jailed for killing her baby

A former police officer in Lower Saxony was sentenced Wednesday to four-and-a-half years in prison for killing her newborn baby last year and burying it in order to avoid shocking her new boyfriend.

Volker Stronczyk, a judge at the Verden district court in northern Germany, delivered the sentence after an emotional trial in which the 25-year-old suspect broke down in tears repeatedly. The defence said it would appeal.

The woman was originally charged with murder, but after considering mitigating circumstances, authorities decided to prosecute her on manslaughter charges instead.

According to the court, the highway patrol officer met her boyfriend in October 2009 just after leaving a previous relationship and without knowing she was pregnant.

Although she realized she was getting bigger, the woman might not even have known she was pregnant – two weeks before the birth she ran a relay race and put on a bikini, something the judge said was “not typical of a heavily pregnant woman.” She told friends she had a poor diet and wasn’t doing enough sports.

But then the woman went into labour and gave birth as her boyfriend dozed nearby. She claimed that she may have slipped in attempting to sever the umbilical cord with scissors, but the could ruled that “there was no rescue effort.” The baby died from a stab wound to its belly.

After slipping the baby under the bed, she went with her boyfriend to a birthday party and eventually stuffed the body into a backpack and buried it.

The suspect later broke down to her boyfriend and confessed everything. They both went immediately to the police – something the court ruled was a mitigating factor in addition to her strong display of remorse.

DAPD/The Local/mdm

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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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