• Germany's news in English

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

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!
Today's headlines
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd