Teenagers jailed for ’20 cent’ beating death

Two teenagers were sentenced to more than three years in jail on Thursday for beating a man in a Hamburg train station to death after he declined to give them €0.20 in pocket change.

Teenagers jailed for '20 cent' beating death
Photo: DPA

Two youths aged 17 and 18 were convicted of deadly aggravated assault for killing the 44-year-old roofer in June 2009 following a retrial.

The Hamburg court ruled there was no indication the two assailants had intended to kill their victim, sentencing them to jail terms of three years and 10 months, and three years and four months respectively.

Forensic investigation revealed that the man’s death was caused by the blow to the head that he suffered after falling backwards during the attack. He died four weeks after the incident in hospital.

The attack took place in an underpass to a Hamburg S-Bahn station, when the two youths were aged just 16 and 17. The pair set upon the roofer, dealing him a series of blows to the head and upper body, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground.

The court’s verdict said the pair had acted aggressively and with an intention to provoke.

But defence lawyer Siegfried Schäfer announced that he intended to appeal the verdict, saying that “the opinion of the court is based on pure speculation.”

Only last July, the 17-year-old in the incident was also arrested after assaulting his teenage girlfriend in a Hamburg school yard.

The 18-year-old girl was severely injured after he kicked, choked and beat her. He stopped only after several teachers at the Borgfeld district school intervened, police said. The girl was hospitalised with a lower leg fracture and contusions to her head and upper body.

The boy was arrested for causing dangerous bodily harm at the time.



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.

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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. 

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