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CRIME

Cleaning woman finds baby girl in hospital wash basin

A cleaning woman found an infant in a Frankfurt hospital wash basin this week, police reported on Friday.

Cleaning woman finds baby girl in hospital wash basin
Photo: DPA

The newborn girl was swaddled in a t-shirt and wool scarf and placed in a wash basin in one of the clinic’s bathrooms on Thursday, police in the German state of Hesse said.

Doctors examined the baby and determined she is about one week old and in good health. The toilet belonged to a conference centre behind the main hospital building, which has an entrance accessible to the public.

“The location where it was left leads to the assumption that the child was meant to be found quickly,” police spokesperson André Sturmeit said.

There are still no indications who the girl’s parents might be.

Media reports did not say whether the hospital had what is known as a Babyklappe or “baby hatch” in Germany, where parents can safely and legally surrender their infants to state care. Germany has some 80 baby hatches located at hospitals nationwide and 130 places where mothers can give birth anonymously.

The concept has been around for hundreds of years – the first known hatch was provided at the Vatican in the 12th Century. In Germany, mothers can place their infants in the hatch, where they find an envelope that explains their legal rights. An alarm then rings inside the hospital several minutes later, giving the mother ample time to slip away and alerting staff that there is a baby in need of care.

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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