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CRIME

Woman who hid dead babies in freezer jailed

A Münster court on Monday sentenced a woman who hid the bodies of two of her newborn babies under frozen pizzas in the freezer to five years behind bars for manslaughter.

Woman who hid dead babies in freezer jailed
Photo: DPA

The court in the western German city convicted the 46-year-old housewife Monika Halbe of two counts of manslaughter, a spokesman said.

She was not tried in connection with a third baby, also found in the basement freezer and who died over 20 years ago, because the statute of limitations on the case had expired.

Halbe was convicted two years ago to four years and three months by another court but the prosecution appealed the sentence, calling for eight years.

During a five-day trial in 2008, Halbe had admitted to hiding the bodies of three baby girls in the family freezer, but had denied killing them.

In a case that made national headlines, it was the defendant’s 18-year-old son who discovered the girls’ tiny corpses in plastic bags when looking for a pizza in the freezer.

AFP/mry

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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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