• Germany edition
 
Jail for incest man justified - court
Photo: DPA

Jail for incest man justified - court

Published: 12 Apr 2012 12:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2012 15:26 GMT+02:00

Judges said on Thursday that the German courts could continue to punish those convicted of incest without injuring his rights to a “private and family life.”

The man in question, Patrick Stübing, appealed all the way through the German courts saying the repeated jail sentences, which he received for his continued sexual relationship with his sister, were unfair.

He and his sister Susan, from near Leipzig, grew up apart after he was given up for adoption aged four - before she was even born.

He had been badly abused by their alcoholic father while she struggled with school and has received significant help from social services.

She was 17, he 25, when he returned and moved into to the family home in 2000. Six months later their mother died, leaving the pair together.

Within five years they had four children, two of whom were disabled. Patrick was locked up as a result several times, most recently leaving prison in 2009.

They are no longer a couple – at least in part because of the legal action against them, his lawyer Endrick Wilhelm told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Thursday.

The German anti-incest law did “not protect the family, rather destroyed a family,” he said.

But German officials were entitled to use their discretion, the European court ruled, as

there was no consensus between Council of Europe member states on the question of whether consensual sex between adults could constitute a crime.

"Furthermore, the German courts had carefully weighed the arguments when convicting the applicant," said a statement from the court.

Three of the four children live with foster families, while the youngest daughter lives with Susan.

The Local/DPA/AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:20 April 12, 2012 by Big L
And the sister is not guilty of incest I guess?
16:06 April 12, 2012 by Sayer
She was 17, yes? Here's what I uncovered...The age of consent in Germany is 14, as long as a person over the age of 21 does not exploit a 14­15 year-old person's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, in which case a conviction of an individual over the age of 21 requires a complaint from the younger individual; being over 21 and engaging in sexual relations with a minor of that age does not constitute an offense in and of itself. Otherwise the age of consent is 14, although provisions protecting minors against coercion apply until the age of 18 (under section Section 182(1) it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with a person under 18 "by taking advantage of an exploitative situation." See Wiki for the rest.

In this instance, and if this information is correct, the court is in error, regardless of what one's opinion of the behavior is. Unless to protect the defenseless the law has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.
17:30 April 12, 2012 by BobbyDigital
@Sayer- He wasn't jailed for banging a minor, he was jailed for banging his sister. Uncover that law.
17:35 April 12, 2012 by The-ex-pat
This is a long running story of many chapters. I have only one question, how come only he has served any prison time since this was uncovered??
21:12 April 12, 2012 by ovalle3.14
He banged his sister. She banged her brother. How come there's only one being put to trial?
23:54 April 12, 2012 by slawek
I don't know anything about this couple. But their decision to have children together shows somehow a lack of intelligence. They certainly both need a legal guardian and forced birth control, but certainly not a jail sentence.
00:16 April 13, 2012 by franconia
@ Sayer, Yahoo, are you from the Ozarks???
10:52 April 13, 2012 by raandy
This couples plight of incest has been around for a few years.

It is concerning, and wrong.

They should have moved away out of the camera and news when they were first were discovered, instead of insisting there is nothing wrong with incest and having children that will pay a heavy price for their indiscretions.
02:47 April 14, 2012 by yuri_nahl
Lawyer fest. Your great nation is in danger of the slippery slope of too many coppers and lawyers.
16:27 April 14, 2012 by willowsdad
The incest taboo has its origin in the greatly increased possibility of defects in the children of such unions. If they really wanted to pursue their relationship, they should have gotten sterilized so nothing like that could happen.
23:36 April 14, 2012 by Sayer
This discussion is about law. If, as we are supposed to believe, justice is blind, it is irrelevant who "did" whom. The law is the law, regardless of their relationship, as each person is an individual. It could be the Virgin Mary, and the case would be the same.

I find incest abhorrent, however, my point is that the law in question is poorly written, and even more fumblingly enforced. If German national law cannot effectively deal with this, why is a non-elected court in a different country making a ruling? For me this is an issue of preserving national control over a country's judicial integrity. And protecting its children.
05:14 April 15, 2012 by Inquisitor
In German law, obviously only males can be charged and convicted for incest. Regrettably, stupidity is not a crime! The real crime is the fact that they had children, who are obviously disabled, as would be expected. They have chosen to inflict their stupidity on a future generation. We should not be worried about their sexual relationship, so much as their stupidity in having children in an age where both birth control and abortion are freely available. The other crime is that German law did not see fit to charge BOTH of them. In effect the German courts are guilty of gender discrimination in the administration of justice which I believe IS illegal.
09:18 April 17, 2012 by DoubleDTown
it's not directly on point, but also of interest, I believe the sister in this pair fathered a child with another man when her brother once had a 10 month or so imprisonment. that says something too about the great decision-making capabilities of this pair.
Today's headlines
Have Your Say
Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA

Should Germany legalize cannabis?

A New York Times editorial on Sunday called for the US to drop its ban on marijuana, calling the strongly-worded law a "laughing stock". Should Germany follow the US states of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational use of the drug? READ  

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria
File Photo: DPA

Cows kill German dog walker in Austria

A 45-year-old German woman died when she was attacked by a herd of 20 cows and calves on Monday afternoon on an Alpine pasture in Tyrol's Stubaital valley. READ  

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum
Knut's new home in Berlin's Natural History Museum. Photo: DPA

Knut goes on display in Berlin museum

Germany’s favourite polar bear Knut is set to pull in the crowds again - but this time from a display case. More than three years after his death, his real fur has been used to create a new Knut for a museum exhibition. READ  

And the winner of the EU single market is...
German incomes are higher thanks to the EU. Photo: DPA

And the winner of the EU single market is...

Germany and Denmark came out as the winners of the European Union's single market in a study released on Monday. Integrating economically with its neighbours has helped the German economy grow an average of €37 billion a year since 1992. READ  

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats
Police check the outside of a synagogue in Wuppertal for evidence of arson on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Synagogue attacked, rabbi gets death threats

A wave of anti-Semitism in Germany, unleashed by the Gaza crisis, shows no sign of abating. A synagogue was attacked on Tuesday morning, a rabbi received death threats and anti-Jewish comments online have increased. Attacks on mosques have also risen. READ  

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight
Photo: DPA

UBS pays Germany €300m in tax fight

Top Swiss bank UBS settled a long-running legal dispute with Germany on Tuesday by agreeing to pay a fine of €300 million. Germany suspects UBS of having helped account holders hide millions from the taxman. READ  

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west
Münster was one of the areas worst hit by Monday night's heavy rain. Photo: DPA

Two die as heavy rain and floods hits west

UPDATE: A man drowned in his cellar on Monday night as heavy rain battered parts of north-western Germany. A second man died when he tried to drive through a flooded street. The emergency services were in places overwhelmed by hundreds of calls. There are further weather warnings in place for Tuesday. READ  

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions
Merkel has finally lost patience with Putin. Photo: DPA

EU to hit Russia with tough sanctions

The EU is set to agree a raft of new wide-ranging sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, after Germany changed its stance on upping the economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis. READ  

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine
Professor Andreas Fath, 49, in training along the Rhine in Baden-Württemberg in June. Photo: DPA

'Mad professor' to swim length of Rhine

German chemistry professor Andreas Fath started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment. READ  

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?
Markus Rehm became German champion on Saturday. Photo: DPA

Unfair advantage for one-legged long jumper?

Paralympics gold medallist Markus Rehm triumphed over his non-disabled rivals on Saturday, winning the German long jump championship. But athletics officials are now reviewing whether his prosthetic leg gave him an unfair advantage. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,226
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd