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CRIME

Police investigate two baby deaths in Saxony

Police on Tuesday were investigating the death of a baby found in a recycling centre, the second child to be found dead since the weekend in the eastern German state of Saxony.

Police investigate two baby deaths in Saxony
Police search trash where a dead baby was found. Photo: DPA

A worker in the recycling centre in the eastern town of Wiesenbad found the baby’s body on a conveyor belt in a sorting area for recyclables, Chemnitz police spokesman Frank Fischer told German news agency DPA.

Police said they planned an autopsy on the baby’s body and would investigate where the trash found near the child had originated. Police did not release details on the child’s age or gender.

Authorities are also investigating the death of another baby in Saxony found in an attic in the town of Elsterberg on Sunday. A couple found the child’s body wrapped in a handkerchief in a cardboard box during their spring cleaning, while investigating a terrible smell in the attic.

The couple’s 22-year-old daughter, a resident of the southern German city of Munich, admitted to hiding her baby’s body in the attic of her childhood home. She told police the child, a girl, was stillborn in November, and that she brought the body to her parents’ house in December. The woman said no one – including her ex-boyfriend, with whom she lived – had noticed her pregnancy.

The woman was taken into custody in Munich, but prosecutors later released her after the autopsy could not rule out the baby being stillborn.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the premiers of Germany’s federal states called for new regulations in December on preventative medical checkups in the wake of a spate of child abuse and death cases last year.

A German appeals court on April 7 also confirmed a 15-year prison sentence handed to another woman for killing eight of her newborn babies in the country’s worst post-war infanticide case. The court in Frankfurt an der Oder in eastern Germany found that the fact 42-year-old Sabine Hilschenz was an alcoholic did not reduce her accountability for the crime.

ddp/dpa

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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