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British mother faces bouncers 'who killed son'

The Local · 29 Mar 2012, 11:13

Published: 29 Mar 2012 11:13 GMT+02:00

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Expat Lee John Heath died in hospital two days after the nightclub beating which left him with horrific head, neck and internal injuries. Doctors carried out a series of operations but could not save him.

His mother, brother and sister sat opposite the accused as the trial began on Wednesday.

The four security personnel, aged between 20 and 36, were on duty at the "U 60311" techno club when they apparently attacked Heath early on Easter Monday morning last year.

Three are charged with manslaughter, another with failing to assist Heath as he lay on the ground.

According to state prosecutors, the incident arose at around 6:15am out of an argument between another guest at the club and one of the bouncers. As the bouncer attempted to pull the man away from the bar, he apparently fell into Heath, who had nothing to do with the row.

The bouncer then attacked Heath, and was joined by two colleagues, who until then had been standing at the door. The three men beat Heath unconscious, then carried him up the stairs to the entrance and dumped him on the pavement.

Passers-by discovered the 31-year-old Briton soon afterwards and called an ambulance, where he was resuscitated. He underwent six operations on his severely damaged internal organs in the following hours.

CCTV footage of the incident was subsequently released on Facebook.

Speaking to the Local last year, Heath's mother Marie described her son as a football fan who had moved to Germany to build a new life for himself and his long-term German girlfriend.

He was an active member of The Local's forum Toytown Germany, and an in-demand handyman who wanted to start his own business.

"Lee didn't deserve this but he fought to the end," said his mother. "I have to be his voice."

The Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported that the four accused did not speak during the proceedings.

The role of the youngest bouncer remains one of the biggest unknown factors in the incident.

Story continues below…

The 20-year-old apparently did not take part in the beating itself, but the paper reported that he may have stopped other guests from intervening, and helped to carry Heath out of the club.

His defence lawyer says he was legally a minor at the time, and called for his trial to be separated from that of his co-defendants and brought before a juvenile court.

The trial is expected to last at least until June – more than 20 witnesses have been called.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 March 29, 2012 by derExDeutsche
if Cameron had a son, he'd look like this guy.
22:45 March 29, 2012 by bigpainingermany
To the family of Lee John Heath, I say take heart and fight for his justice even though the justice may end up in shock for you as that's how it is here and as a mother who is still facing the horror you are facing, I say only getting justice for him will bring peace to his soul and to you the family as well. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE:
10:34 March 30, 2012 by mos101392
I've witnessed numerous attacks by "security" here in Germany over the years. They seem to be allowed to brutally beat people and get away with it!

Do these "security guards" have the same powers as say, the German Polizei? Or do they just have to wear a T-Shirt that say's "SECURITY" and that is enough to be able to beat someone to death?

Is there a law in Germany that protects someone wearing a "Security" T-Shirt from being beaten and thrown out the club they are working in?

In Germany, money settles most offenses through fines! Those responsible, should be forced to pay the victim's family to help ease thier loss. It should be enough that his family never has to work again!
10:43 March 30, 2012 by Legal E
Manslaughter is too light a crime, these type of bullies really knarls me. They then would have had a beer and laughed about it after it. Sometimes, justice does not serve justice.

god, I am annoyed at this.
12:12 March 30, 2012 by bugger
Privatization, globalization and outsourcing are the source of this problem. While the mass of the citizens has been legally disarmed, the state monopoly on violence has been partially privatized. Have a closer look at the personnell of these "Sicherheitsfirmen" and you will find out that they employ psychotic bullies, underworld strong arm men, street thugs, self-styled outlaw bikers and similar people which are virtually unemployable. In other countries, such people would have been locked down preemptively as they are an endangerment to society. The doorman scene is also known to be violent part of the illegal drug and weapons sales scene.
15:51 March 30, 2012 by Bruno53
This is NOT a German case. Bouncers in so many places have a quite bad reputation in dealing with some problematic patrons with physical abuses that can lead to injuries and killings. Of course we know there are some good bouncers. Honestly I fear bouncers far, far more than police officers and government security agents like USA's FBI.
17:26 March 30, 2012 by FBIPROUS
You should ask from where are these security people. In Germay they have these gruops from different parts on the earth. Some from Russia, some from Africa...

Fact: Only 20% are native Germans!
05:05 October 27, 2012 by suburbangeorge
Well of course I'm just a crazy American, but if this had happened to a family member of mine, I'd spend the time that they were in prison making sure that I had a gun(s) and sufficient ammunition secreted somewhere in Germany then I'd collect justice when they were released. I had to read two articles before I learned that this didn't happen as a result of over enthusiastic performance of the bouncer's jobs but rather happened to an uninvolved bystander. What exactly is required for a murder charge in Germany?
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