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Teens to go unpunished for torturing pensioner

DPA/The Local · 10 Mar 2010, 18:29

Published: 10 Mar 2010 18:29 GMT+01:00

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The authorities said one of the boys had been running errands for the 83-year-old victim, identified as Edeltraut B., in exchange for pocket money for about four months. But in February the two quarrelled at her Milbertshofen district apartment and the boy allegedly kicked her several times in the leg.

Police reported that the pensioner, who suffers from dementia, then cut off contact to the boy without reporting the altercation, and didn’t see him again until this Monday afternoon, when he rang her doorbell with a friend.

At a press conference in Munich on Wednesday, police described how the two boys forced their way into the woman’s home, then tortured her by forcing her to drink shaving cream and half a bottle of schnapps – ramming the bottle into her teeth when she refused, then urinating in the bottle. They also allegedly kicked her in the belly and upper body, poured liquid spices in her eyes and urinated on her while she lay on the ground.

“We believe it lasted for several hours,” chief detective Frank Hellwig said.

Both boys were already known to authorities as troublemakers, but did not have a record of violence.

“They both deny any involvement in the crime and implicate each other,” Hellwig said.

Story continues below…

Edeltraut B. did not suffer life-threatening injuries, but she remains hospitalised and doctors are uncertain whether she will suffer permanent damage to her eyes. However, neither boy will be be legally punished as minors.

“They are not criminally accountable and can’t be prosecuted,” Hellwig added.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:16 March 10, 2010 by whatzup
If these kids were old enough to torture someone then they are old enough to be disciplined in a way they won't soon forget.
20:45 March 10, 2010 by jodessa
Fine.....can't be held accountable......then put their f-ing parents in jail!!! SICK SICK SICK!!!!
21:15 March 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
So there is no juvenile justice system in Germany? These little monsters can abuse and torture (yes, torture) an old woman with impunity? I am disgusted.
21:35 March 10, 2010 by Harlaching
Wow. This shows the real side of German justice. Who then is responsible? No one? Where are the parents?
21:36 March 10, 2010 by erdinger
Had they killed this poor women, would we hear the same argument that their only 13 and not to be held accountable?
21:56 March 10, 2010 by Talonx
Erdinger, It's a matter of fact that they are not adults, if you think 13 y.o. are so responsible for themselves let's force them all into the streets at that age and see what happens to society.

Prufrock2010, There is a Juvenile justice system, but it doesn't come into play until you are 14, however there are numerous things that can be done to insure that these young boys straighten out (rehab and counceling).

As for these boys torturing this women, at least something will happen to them, we've got some torturing sob's in the States that got away scot-free
21:57 March 10, 2010 by kalyaja
This is sickening. So, they're not gonna face prosecution. Only slapping their hands a few times? That's B.S. Find their parents and put them in jail. They must be held responsible for their kids' crime.

What's wrong with the society nowaday? What's wrong with German law?
22:01 March 10, 2010 by pnewb
In German penal law, you cannot be guilty (in the legal sense) if you are under fourteen - § 19 StGB (*) (Penal code). They can't put them in jail, but to be fair: You have to draw the line somewhere, here it's 14 years.

However, the victim can (and, IMHO, should) press civil charges, § 823 BGB (**); and § 828 BGB says that minors over seven years old can be held accountable for damages done. In practice, the parents will have to pay though; but I guess the judge will make the proceedings as humiliating as (legally) possible.

Hopefully, that'll leave an impression.

(*) StGB = Strafgesetzbuch = Penal code. English translation is here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_stgb/index.html

(**) BGB = Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch = Civil code. Translation here: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_bgb/
22:04 March 10, 2010 by auslanderus
Is this the direction that Germany is headed in? Poor boys, must have had a bad home life so there not at fault. Lock up the parents for one. I can think of many ways those two boys could be punished. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Whats next these two will do, kill someone? It's to late then.
08:49 March 11, 2010 by dkt7
They should put the little punks in jail and make them serve some hard time...then let some other inmates "abuse" them. That will teach them a lesson.
11:15 March 11, 2010 by Legal E
The true beauty of Germany. The rules and codes. In one way good for clarity but in another a real piece of work as here. Bonkers, I also wonder if they actually knew this and committed the heinous act?
11:35 March 11, 2010 by Tyler0105
That's the one thing that I am growing increasingly livid about in Germany. The lack of respect in the children! You have teens beating up elders all over the place. I know that the U.S. is not a whole lot better either. What happened to the day in age when children respected their elders. Have we come so far?

The parents better be held accountable! They raise a bunch of disrespectful children, then they ought to pay for it.
12:55 March 11, 2010 by snorge
A good beating of those kids and a year in reform school wil do.

Hope I don't come across those kids....
12:57 March 11, 2010 by Talonx
What makes more sense?

Institutionalization for life. . .

. . .or. . .

rehabilitation for a few years?
13:47 March 11, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
Execute them. Publically.
14:06 March 11, 2010 by Zobirdie
This is disgraceful. You cant tell me these little rotters didn't know exactly what they were doing. This law needs to be changed.

Maybe someone should do to them what they did to that defenseless old woman.
00:15 March 12, 2010 by Dlocal
totally inhumane...........god bless this developed society..............and laws which let such brats go unaccounted ..and which will take another million years to change.....and till that time all 13 year olds are allowed to kick elderly, or if required have access to guns and go shooting in schools....
08:20 March 12, 2010 by biker hotel harz
This is a fckuing disgrace and pretty representative of the German Police's attitude to anything! Lazy Badstreds! Next thing you know they'll be 'doing a Jamie Bulger' and getting away with it!
09:51 March 12, 2010 by dbert4
Those boys should both be sent to a Catholic boys school to be buggered senseless! That'll show them!!
10:45 March 12, 2010 by lal mani sharma
Dear Sir,

Be it a teen or an adolescent torturing an old lady/gentleman is an unacceptable social crime. Small virtues and virtues are taught at home by parents. Crimes and offences would come to an end if our children were taught to regard a girl as a sister, an elderly lady as a mother and a young girl as a daughter by an elderly person. I as a child I saw my late father calling every lady of his age as sister and a mum to an aged lady. The words go a long way in shaping our mental thought. We don¦#39;t see God, we see him in temples and places of worship or in paper photos but we can see HIM in serving the aged and the dejected people. That is why it has been correctly said that SERVICE TO MAN IS SERVICE TO GOD.

It looks as if these teens were enjoying by torturing the elderly lady, Rather than punishing them their parents must be taught the art of rearing children.

They along with their children must attend a part time weekly class on Importance of virtues and values in human life..
15:26 March 12, 2010 by Ami-Girl
I regret that we live in a society where so many would immediately deem "revenge" the same as "punishment." Because of the heinous nature of the crime, it is natural for us to imagine our own versions of "justice." HOWEVER, we absolutely HAVE to acknowledge that the problem and solution are NOT immediate!!!

We MUST go deeper, psychologically, to determine the best available "social punishment" here. Directly, it seems like a disaster for these boys not to go to jail, but as the commentor "Pnewb" (entry #9) put it, there's still a very big chance at getting the German Civil Code to work in favor for this poor woman - which in the long-run, might actually be better for all society, enabling public authorities to better recognize similar behavioral patterns, and thus eventually PREVENT such crimes from happening again!

Also, we have to be extremely careful in generalizing the parents' failure to raise these boys "correctly." This is many times a TOTAL lost cause, because of the number of factors for which to be accounted (including drug-use, social-/academic levels, mental status of the parents, etc...)! If only it were so easy!!!

My personal opinion (to which I'm entitled, as is everyone their own): obviously the parents are not capable of the necessary responsibility here, so boot-camp, LONG-TERM therapy, and LONG-TERM repentance to the victim (by the boys) would be a good start. However, although they're old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, these boys are still only 13, and most likely will STILL be living at home (with these parents), so their home-life must also be taken into account.

A-ha, and who's going to pay for this therapy and other crap, you say???!!!??? BE socially aware, active, and responsible here, people! Support social programs, "write your congressman" (Abgeordneter), and become involved - so that programs like this will be available for such cases! Having the jails and juvies full doesn't always solve the problem!!!

Who knows for sure, what the outcome will be... but we can always HOPE that the judges in the civil case (should there be one, hopefully) will have social resources in their arsenal to use!!! Don't drink the Hate-orade, teach your children humility (not violence), and keep a responsible eye on your elderly!


Your everyday Wanna-be Psych-/Sociologist
15:57 March 12, 2010 by Dinaricman
In Croatia when kids get stupid this is what happens.

Miroslav Tomasevic become the most popular father in his area after the media reported he had been sentenced to three months in prison for beating a teenaged hooligan.

Tomasevic, 58, beat the hooligan, 17, in May 2009 because he had attacked his own son of the same age.

His son was attacked by a group of teenagers who left him without teeth and with a broken nose and many bruises.

Tomasevic said: "My son even tried to hide that from me. He did not want anyone in the city to know he had been beaten. He claimed he had fallen on the stairs. But, in the end, he confessed everything to me, and I found the main attacker."

The father confessed that he was not proud of himself for having beaten the boy but claimed he had had no choice since he had decided not to tolerate teen hooliganism.

The daily Jutarnji list has reported that he has received support from numerous parents whose children have been faced with the same situation.

Many parents contacted him and even asked for advice because they were helpless in the face of teen hooliganism in their area. One father from Zadar even asked him to help him catch three hooligans who had beaten his son. A policeman from Zagreb whose son had been beaten by hooligans in a tram also contacted him.

In response to parents' reaction, Tomasevic said the fight against juvenile delinquency needed to be improved and parents needed to be included in it.
19:26 March 12, 2010 by Johnny Cash
It is all the feely touchy socialists who have taken a great disiplinary tool out of the hands of parents to sort these little cretins out. I am talking here of the swift kick up the arse that I grew up with if you got out of line. I certainly haven't suffered any detrimental effects from it . You knew what the rules were from an early age back in the era of common sense.
22:10 March 12, 2010 by dbert4
" I certainly haven't suffered any detrimental effects from it ."

Yeah, but what would your neighbors say?
23:28 March 12, 2010 by mike short
You are following the American way, wait for them to kill and they will kill if not helped or stopped. These kids must be made to pay. I am sure you can find a law that they broke. If it was your Mother would the decision be the same. If you can't find a law they broke hire someone that can.
04:35 March 13, 2010 by ekelks
So 13-year-olds and people over a certain age are allowed to go unpunished? Is there no better test in Germany for knowing the difference between right and wrong? You would think after all these years the German people would have realized that distilling human behavior into categories (age, race, religion, etc) is not the way to go.
10:22 March 13, 2010 by mixxim
This is a good signal for others under the age of criminal responsibility. Shoplifting, bullying, any crime is ok. If such children get away with it, could they not be rehoused with responsible parents? When I was young my parents were the law.
15:49 March 14, 2010 by Erised
The children need to be removed from their homes, be put in a structured and supervised environment and be made to pay restitution to the victim. It may be possible to fix them at 13, don't know, but doing nothing is unacceptable. Otherwise, these two will escalate until they probably kill someone.
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