Child abandoner attempts suicide

A man who helped a mother abandon her three children in Italy has attempted to commit suicide, Bild am Sonntag reported, citing an Italian police spokesman.

Child abandoner attempts suicide
Photo: DPA

The 24-year-old Sascha Schmidt was with 26-year-old mother Caterina Remhof when the pair left the three young children in a pizzeria in the town of Aosta last Sunday. The couple said they were stepping out for a cigarette, then did not return to the restaurant.

“He tried to hang himself with his belt in the jail,” a police spokesman told Bild.

The pair’s disappearance and abandonment of the children lead to a nationwide manhunt in Italy. The pair were found about 10 kilometers away in a forest and arrested on Thursday.

The Siegen district prosecutor’s office confirmed Thursday that the 24-year-old Schmidt was a fugitive from justice and is supposed to be serving a long sentence for blackmail. He did not return from a two-day parole from prison in early April, authorities said.

He is not the father of the children – an infant, a two-year-old and a four-year-old. The children were returned to their home in Sauerland on Friday by German social workers.

The children are “doing well, for their protection they’ve been taken to a secret location,” Hans-Werner Voss, a county spokesman in Germany, said.

Italian media reports have said that the couple had financial problems, drug issues and may have been contemplating suicide.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners