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CRIME

Bonn bank manager plays Robin Hood for overdrawn customers

A former bank manager from a Bonn suburb has been handed a suspended sentence for helping out poor clients by temporarily transferring money from the accounts of wealthy people.

Bonn bank manager plays Robin Hood for overdrawn customers
Photo: DPA

The 62-year-old woman, who played the role of a pencil-pushing Robin Hood from 2003 to 2005, faces up to four years in jail for misappropriating some €7.6 million to aid skint customers in danger of overdrawing their accounts.

Hoping only to give the bank’s poorer clients a bit of breathing room, the woman managed to return €6.5 million to the proper accounts, but some were so far overdrawn it was impossible to wire €1.1 million back.

Though she never skimmed anything off for herself, the woman was convicted of 117 cases of embezzlement and received 22 months on parole, her lawyer Thomas Ohm said on Monday evening.

According to Ohm, the former bank manger is now penniless herself after having her small pension partially seized to cover some of the bank’s damages.

“She has to live off the bare minimum,” Ohm said, adding that he and his client agreed the verdict was “completely correct” for the offence. “It’s appropriate for the circumstances. That’s why we’ve opted against legal recourse.”

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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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