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CRIME

Former prostitute murdered ‘saviour’ hubby

A German prostitute and drug addict whose marriage to a customer enabled her to kick her habit and become a doctor was jailed for 15 years on Tuesday – for murdering her husband.

Former prostitute murdered 'saviour' hubby
Photo: DPA

The 36-year-old woman named only as Lydia H., had turned her junkie prostitute life around with the help of a regular punter, much like the film “Pretty Woman”.

Hermann v d H., who was five decades older than her, helped her through rehab and paid for her to go to medical school. She qualified as a doctor and worked as an anaesthetist.

But the story had anything but a fairytale ending, and Lydia became frustrated with Hermann, the Aachen district court heard.

“Although she came so far, we should not believe that the original structure of the relationship ever changed,” her lawyer Reinhard Birkenstock said.

The doctor, who mostly remained silent during hearings, told the judge that her husband had tried several times to sabotage job applications. He would, she said, try to slip in notes alluding to her past.

And days before he died in February 2011, Hermann was reportedly treating his wife as if he were still paying her for sex, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said.

Despite this, Judge Gerd Nohl offered the woman little sympathy, calling her husband a “harmless, defenceless man.”

The case has been in court since late last year, with numerous experts called to shed light on Lydia H.’s extreme efforts to leave her husband.

“She killed the only person who had a positive effect on her life,” Birkenstock told the judge. His main tactic has been to cite her troubled life as partial justification for her actions.

After an early life dominated by sexual abuse and a rocky family environment, Lydia H. turned to prostitution to fund her drug addiction, striking up a long-term deal with Hermann who soon offered to marry her.

Birkenstock has appealed the conviction, claiming it was manslaughter rather than murder. He said said the killing was not planned but was the result of a humiliating argument during which she had lashed out at her husband.

The Local/DPA/jcw

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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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