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CRIME

Life sentence upheld for German murderer of Swedish kids

German woman Christine Schürrer has had her life sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal for the murders of two young children in Arboga, Sweden last year.

Life sentence upheld for German murderer of Swedish kids
Christine Schürrer at the appeal proceedings. Photo: DPA

The Court of Appeal also served Schürrer with a permanent deportation order and ordered her to pay damages of 100,000 kronor ($11,800) each to the children’s parents, Swedish news agency TT reported.

Schürrer, 32, was convicted in October by Västmanland District Court of murdering three-year-old Max and his one-year-old sister Saga, and then attempting to kill the children’s mother, 23-year-old Emma Jangestig, at the family’s home in Arboga on the evening of March 17th 2008.

Schürrer had been in a relationship with Jangestig’s then boyfriend, Torgny Hellgren, and according to prosecutors Frieda Gummesson and Johan Fahlander, her obsession with her ex-boyfriend served as the motive for the killings.

The Court of Appeal did not entirely dismiss Emma Jangestig’s testimony, as was the case with the district court. The appellate court considered certain memory fragments to be reliable, such as Jangestig’s firm belief that she had been attacked by a woman.

Investigators were never able to tie Schürrer to the crime scene with physical evidence. Instead, prosecutors based their case on strong circumstantial evidence. The appeal court agreed that the overall evidence was sufficient to secure a conviction.

The appeal court determined, for example, that Schürrer had lied about her reasons for visiting Arboga the night of the murders and that she had access to a hammer that has not been found.

She also supplied incorrect information about a missing pair of shoes whose soles matched the patterns on footprints found at the scene of the crime.

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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