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CRIME

Nine-year-old girl found seriously injured in gully

Police in the town of Velbert, North Rhine-Westphalia have found a critically injured nine-year-old girl in a gully after she was reported missing by her parents on Monday night.

Nine-year-old girl found seriously injured in gully
Photo: DPA

Her parents contacted police when she failed to arrive home on time after a homework help session, despite having a journey home of only 100 metres.

Police then began a full search effort for the girl in the Neviges area of the town. The authorities said that helicopters with heat-sensitive cameras were deployed to survey the area between 11 pm and midnight. Finding nothing initially, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) joined on the search, along with a team of sniffer dogs.

The ten dogs and trainers began looking for the girl around 1 am on Tuesday morning, tracing her journey home from the former elementary school to her parents’ flat in the town centre, before turning to the forest area nearby.

According to the police, search officials decided the area around the school should be searched more thoroughly, and at 1:19 am one of the sniffer dogs, named Christo, and his handler Birgit Oschmann went behind the sports hall. Here, the dog seemed particularly interested in a gully.

It was there that the young girl was found, seriously injured. She was immediately rushed to hospital.

“We thought we were working on a murder case. If we hadn’t found her, she should have been dead,” a spokesperson for the public prosecutors office told media.

Police have refrained from releasing several details of the crime due to the ongoing investigation. Police are currently appealing for any witnesses who were in the area on Monday evening.

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CRIME

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

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