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CRIME

Nurse investigated for child abuse

A male nurse is under investigation for sexually abusing at least three young boys in the intensive care ward of a Berlin hospital and filming the attacks, prosecutors announced late Tuesday.

Nurse investigated for child abuse
Photo: DPA

The 27-year-old nurse from the children’s intensive care unit of the Helios Hospital located on the northern fringes of the capital was arrested last Friday after a nine-year-old alleged victim told his parents he had been assaulted, prosecutors said.

The alleged victims were aged between five and nine and were defenceless because they were being treated in intensive care and were either unconscious or immobile, prosecutors said.

The man, named by daily Berliner Zeitung as Michael N., is being investigated for three assaults, authorities said, though the hospital itself suggested there had been five cases and the state prosecutor warned further cases could emerge.

Prosecutors say he filmed at least some of the attacks on mobile phones. When police searched his house and his workplace, they found two mobile phones containing footage of an attack on a five-year-old. Early investigations suggest the boy was physically helpless because he was medicated.

Michael N. attempted suicide while in pre-trial custody and is now being treated in hospital.

“We are appalled and stunned,” the hospital said in a statement. “We regret most deeply the suffering, but also the uncertainty that is now plaguing many parents and patients as to whether they were or were not affected.”

Parents whose sons were treated in the intensive care unit in the past 14 months were informed of the investigation in writing.

Michael N. has no prior convictions, Berliner Zeitung reported. He lives alone, has three brothers and worked in the ward since October 2009. Colleagues said he was helpful and friendly. They had no cause to suspect he was a paedophile.

DPA/The Local/dw

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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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