Father of starved toddler refuses to talk

The father of a three-year-old girl who died of starvation in Bavaria this week has refused to talk with the authorities and remained silent before a judge on Wednesday, as he was accused of negligent manslaughter.

Father of starved toddler refuses to talk
A photo of the family home. Photo: DPA

His daughter was rushed to the hospital on Saturday after he and his wife called emergency services, but her heart stopped on Monday. An autopsy showed that she had starved to death, weighing “significantly less” than a normal child of her age, the authorities said.

The family was already known to youth services in the small town of Thalmässing. Officials visited them last autumn, reporting that the home was in a ramshackle state.

The girl’s 26-year-old mother is currently hospitalised and guarded by police after an emergency operation. She has not yet been questioned and police speculated she will be well enough for interrogation in the next two days.

Grandparents are caring for the girl’s four-year-old brother, who remains in good health, police said.

According to news magazine Der Spiegel, the mother had two other children who currently live in foster homes.

In a similar case, a Chemnitz judge sentenced a 25-year-old mother to eight years in prison on Wednesday on manslaughter charges for leaving her two-year-old son home alone in Kirchberg for three days over Christmas 2007. He also died of starvation.

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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.

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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