• Germany's news in English
 

German couple jailed for snatching Czech baby

Published: 26 Mar 2013 07:29 GMT+01:00

The kidnapping of the only weeks-old baby Michalá in the town of Ústi nad Labem last summer left her mother distraught and feelings in the Czech Republic high.

Police arrested the 48-year-old German woman and her 51-year-old partner just a few days later. The baby was found safe and well at the house of the woman's mother in Neuwied, Rhineland Palatinate.

The court in Koblenz was unable to untangle the reason why the couple had snatched the baby. Judge Thomas Metzger heard the man say his partner had hidden a stillbirth from him, and told him Michalá was their baby.

She persuaded him they were stealing back their own child, he told the court. But Metzger did not believe this, and called them a "hugely fraudulent couple."

The pair, who had also stolen several cars and sold them on, were caught last July after being spotted on security cameras driving away from Ústi nad Labem in a car with the wrong number plates on.

The 21-year-old mother of the child had told the court how distressing the entire incident had been, talking in tears of the psychological problems she had suffered since. Her family said they felt the sentences - and the order to pay her €5,000 in compensation - were too lenient.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:29 March 26, 2013 by raandy
Four and a half years for kidnapping, lying, to the court, previous busts for stealing several cars and selling them, no doubt that would be the babies fate.

What a joke, and a slap in the face for the mother. How about a life sentence and a room undergrund where they would have to pump shine down..
13:55 March 26, 2013 by hanskarl
Some states in the US have what they call repeat offender" laws where if the person or persons have lived a life repeatedly breaking the law with several convictions the court is required to sentence them more harshly like three to four times the normal sentencing guidelines. I wonder why German states do not do this.
20:03 March 26, 2013 by jack_kerouac
What an atrocity - the punishment was definitely too lienient. Can you imagine if someone took your child? How insane!

I agree with our friend raandy here - life imprisonment!
06:08 March 27, 2013 by Tilak RaJ
I t is very shocking . To hear from German people.

It is shame on country also.
08:07 March 29, 2013 by Dyderich
Life Imprisonment - yes! Oh wait, that is 3 square meals a day, Internet/TV, Gym - Hey what the heck...they are doing better than some of the people on the street eeking out a living to boot.

Now, perhaps if the prison was a Gulag....or someplace where all you got was a nice lovely 5m2 cell for the rest of your life and had nothing to do except rot for the next however long you can survive, perhaps then. Otherwise, this is nothing.

And sadly the repeat offender laws in US are funny as hell....DUI 4+ convicted and these people can still drive and kill whoever they want on their highways because they never get rid of them. Slap Slap...bad boy/girl...do not drink and drive again...for the umpteenth time...

As for the Shame on Germany...OMFG? Really? Its two deranged people from that country - not the German People as a whole. So get off your white horse and think about that posting...otherwise you better hold every country accountable for their nutbags no matter how insignificant they are.
Today's headlines
Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson
The charred remains of the "House of 28 doors". Photo: DPA

Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson

Pro-refugee organizations in Berlin spoke out on Wednesday in defiance of an arson attack on an art installation and gathering-place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. READ  

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr (r) and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann near the crash site on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help

On a visit to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash site in France, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the company will do its utmost to help relatives of victims and local people near the crash site. READ  

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition
An anti-fracking demonstration in front of the Chancellery on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition

The cabinet agreed upon a draft law on “fracking” on Wednesday which will allow testing under stringent rules. But it is unclear whether the law will pass through the Bundestag (German parliament). READ  

Germany's best April Fools' jokes
It's that time of the year again...

Germany's best April Fools' jokes

While it might not be as prevalent as in English-speaking countries, there is still a rich tradition of “Aprilscherze” in Germany. Take a look inside for some of the best of 2015. READ  

April Fools' Day
April Fool! The Local's day in gags
In our April Fool's joke we reinstated the German monarchy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

April Fool! The Local's day in gags

No, you weren’t going crazy when you scrolled through The Local this morning. Today, our network temporarily lost its marbles for April Fools' Day. So, as the clock strikes 12pm, it’s time for The Local to fess up and reveal which of our stories were red herrings. READ  

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence
Defendant Detlev Günzel at the court in Dresden on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence

A court sentenced a German former police officer to eight years and six months in jail Wednesday for killing a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists. READ  

Strong economy shrinks debt as share of GDP
Workers in a Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg. Photo: DPA

Strong economy shrinks debt as share of GDP

Germany's total debt increased slightly in 2014, but because the economy grew, its proportion of overall output fell, the Bundesbank (central bank) said on Wednesday. READ  

Seven lives claimed by Storm Niklas
Photo: DPA

Seven lives claimed by Storm Niklas

Germany woke up on Wednesday morning to the chaos which hurricane-strength winds brought to the country for much of Tuesday, killing seven people and causing major damage to travel infrastructure. READ  

April Fool's Day
Kaiser to rule again from Berlin
The Berliner Stadtschloss (city palace) in 1904. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kaiser to rule again from Berlin

In a shock decision, the German government announced on Wednesday that it had asked civil servants to re-draft the constitution to restore the monarchy. READ  

Post, Amazon face Easter strikes
Photo: DPA

Post, Amazon face Easter strikes

The trade union Verdi has announced strikes for Wednesday at the Deutsche Post (German Post) and Amazon, meaning that Easter cards and packages might not arrive on time. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

7,018
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd