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CRIME

Berlin man taken to hospital after homophobic attack by family with kids: police

A man in Berlin reported being insulted and attacked by a family, including by children, due to his sexuality, according to police.

Berlin man taken to hospital after homophobic attack by family with kids: police
File photo: DPA.

According to police, the 35-year-old man was walking through Hermannplatz in the Neukölln district of Berlin at about 2.50pm on Friday, when women and children who appeared to be part of a family group started to berate and insult him using homophobic statements. Their comments reportedly also related to the fact that he was wearing a cross around his neck.

The man told police that the men from the group then started to beat and kick him, snapping one of his fingers.

An unknown passerby was able to take the man away from the group into safety at a nearby pub to call for help, police report. By the time officers arrived, the woman who had helped the man had left, as had the group.

The injured man was then taken to hospital for treatment.

Berlin is famed for its LGBT scene and major gay pride festival, Christopher Street Day. Still, a report last year showed that about half of the homophobic crimes reported nationwide between January and September 2016 happened in Berlin.

Across Germany, the number of hate crimes recorded by the Interior Ministry that were targeted against a victim's sexual orientation shot up by 42 percent, from 222 in 2015 to 316 last year.

Police classify homophobic acts as hate crimes “against sexual orientation”, but German law does not explicitly mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Critics say that this therefore can make it harder for police to recognize such crimes, and for victims to feel comfortable reporting them.

SEE ALSO: Why Germany needs to get its message straight on LGBT rights

CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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