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Man tells court it was dog who strangled wife

The Local · 17 Jan 2012, 08:29

Published: 17 Jan 2012 08:29 GMT+01:00

The 50-year-old man was convicted of manslaughter after his wife was found strangled to death in their bathroom in Düsseldorf November 2010, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday.

But his conviction was overruled by a federal court which said that the fact the woman was strangled for several minutes did not necessarily on its own mean she was killed intentionally, and now the case is being heard again – complete with a witness who is an expert on dogs.

The man’s lawyer said he and his wife had been drinking heavily on the night she died – he had a blood alcohol level of 3.4 parts per thousand when police arrived at their house.

He said the woman had fallen over in the bathroom and her husband had been unable to lift her up. He had given her a pillow and blanket and gone to bed, to find her dead the following afternoon.

Their 35-kilo dog must have smothered her, the lawyer argued, saying it was well-known that they sometimes kill their own puppies this way by accident.

The man said he only realised she had died at around 4 p.m., having got up, taken the dog for a walk and talked with his mother on the phone.

But Hans-Hermann Sangen told the court it was unfair to make the dog the scapegoat in the case.

The expert from the Labrador club in Velbert, said adults could not be put in danger by one of the dogs. He said newborns could be accidentally smothered by one of the animals if they snuggled up to them, but that adults could not.

Story continues below…

The case continues.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:45 January 17, 2012 by The-ex-pat
I always blame the dog, like this court, my wife also does not believe me..............
13:36 January 17, 2012 by DOZ
H0w l0ng d1d 1t t2ke t0 tr@1n the d0g?
15:26 January 17, 2012 by raandy
But his conviction was overruled by a federal court which said that the fact the woman was strangled for several minutes did not necessarily on its own mean she was killed intentionally, and now the case is being heard again ­

What a joke, yep I strangled her for several minutes but I did not intend to kill her, only teach her a lesson.
16:59 January 17, 2012 by Wrench
And the dog also ate my homework.
17:34 January 17, 2012 by JohnnesKönig
Title reads "strangled" but the article reads "smothered"... Is that the same thing?

Been in Germany for a while, but I don't think English has changed that much! Or is that one of the differences between US and British English?
18:20 January 17, 2012 by cassandra777
My 35kg Collie likes to go to sleep on top of me when I am lying on the couch watching TV. It is alot of "dead-weight" to cope with while awake. A woman so intoxicated to collapse on the floor could easily have been smothered by a dog wishing to comfort her (thinking she was sick). Aenesthetised people are helpless. And this lady was aenesthetised. She was even more helpless than a newborn baby.
20:21 January 17, 2012 by mikel taylor
Maybe it was taking auto asphyxiation to an extreme level, just a little sex game gone bad. not the first time some German was involved in kinky sex. Just a thought no proof.

Smothered, Strangled, different method same results if the victim died

Smothered would indicate the air was cut off using some thing like a pillow.

Strangled would imply something was wrapped around victims neck, like hands, belt, rope etc.
06:00 January 19, 2012 by volvoman9
@ expat... someone had to say it. Where is the forensic evidence? Are there ligature marks on her neck? Are these law makers serious?
06:45 January 19, 2012 by Jeff10
Well, I'll betcha that this dog and man part ways and the dude will have to find a new 'best friend.'
16:52 January 19, 2012 by mikel taylor
@jeff10

I'm thinking that the dog and the man are now better friends than ever, seems the dog solved the mans problem. or the man solved the dogs problem which ever is true Problem solved. I think the simpler method would have been divorce court.

The real problem is alcohol @ 3.4% He probably doesn't remember what happened. and the dog is keeping quiet.
04:55 January 20, 2012 by Jeff10
Did they conduct a BAT (blood-alcohol test) on the dog? Perhaps the dog might have to go into an alcoholic clinic to dry out.

But, yes, divorce is easier than concocting a wild story to explain a homicide.
11:03 January 21, 2012 by MichaSeifert-Weiss
@MikelTaylor 3.4 parts per thousand is .034%, not 3.4%, and at .034% he remembers what happened very well!

My goodness, there is a real problem when stupid people are in control of the legal system to give a chance for this liar and killer to waste taxes and mock the law and society. There is a vaste difference between a dog lying on an adult's lap and lying across an adult's HEAD! And does any normal, intelligent person with an IQ score over 85 believe there is ANY possibility this man could be telling the truth when he denies killing his wife after admitting to strangling her? Put a pillow under her head and gave her a blanket mein Arsch!
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