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CRIME

Great Dane attacks girl in Lower Saxony

An 8-year-old girl has been attacked by a Great Dane in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony police reported on Saturday, the third such incident in the northern German state this week.

Great Dane attacks girl in Lower Saxony
Germany already has muzzle laws for so-called attack dogs. Photo: dpa

The little girl was bitten several times by the dog, which was running free on Friday. Its owner’s whereabouts are still unknown. The child only escaped more serious injuries because her 15-year-old sister managed to chase the Great Dane away. After being treated by a pediatrician the child was able to return home.

The incident is the third dog attack on children within the last few days in the Lower Saxony. On Thursday, a pit bull seriously injured a two-year-old girl in Ovelgönne. The child and her mother were visiting her godmother when the godmother’s dog suddenly attacked the child. The toddler is now in intensive care, according to a police spokeswoman.

And a few days ago a Rottweiler attacked another 8-year-old girl in Bad Fallingbostel, when the child and her mother walked past a farmhouse. The child sustained serious bite wounds in her face and on her arms.

Following the spate of attacks German politicians are demanding more stringent controls and tougher punishments. Social Democratic parliamentarian Karl Lauterbach went so far as to demand that dog owners take full responsibility for any injuries.

“Attack dog owners are well aware of the risks their dogs pose to children and therefore should be punished with all severity as if they themselves had injured the children,” he told Bild newspaper on Saturday.

Georg Ehrmann, chairman of children’s charity Deutsche Kinderhilfe in Berlin, demanded that all dangerous races of dogs be put on a national list so that these animals be forced to wear muzzles and be on a leash at all times.

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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