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CRIME

Teen boy charged with attempted murder for Kassandra attack

Prosecutors have charged a 14-year-old boy with attempted murder over an attack last September in which a nine-year-old girl was beaten and left to die in a drainage ditch, daily Bild reported Wednesday.

Teen boy charged with attempted murder for Kassandra attack
Photo: DPA

Public prosecutor Rüdiger Ihl told the paper that a 20-page file of charges had been sent to the district court in the city of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia, near to the town of Velbert, where the attack happened.

“The appropriate panel will decide on the opening of proceedings and the trial date,” he said.

The boy allegedly beat Kassandra nearly to death with a rock before dragging her into a covered drainage ditch through a heavy manhole cover and dumping her 1.5 metres below ground.

She was found by a search dog after lying in the ditch for hours.

Bild reported the boy, who attended a special school for adolescents with emotional problems, would face a closed court in spring. He had so far denied wrongdoing, the paper said.

However, witnesses saw him with Kassandra around the time of the assault on September 14, and investigators found fibres from the girl’s clothes on him.

The boy came to the attention of the investigators not long after Kassandra was found in critical condition though with no signs of sexual abuse. The day before the attack she had attended a Catholic youth group meeting but did not return home, prompting a call to the police from her worried parents.

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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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