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.