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CRIME

Woman suspected of killing partner’s children

A 30-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of killing her partner's three young children in western Germany, police said on Saturday. They were found in a house fire in their ground floor flat.

Woman suspected of killing partner's children
Photo: DPA

Fire fighters were called to a house fire on Friday where they discovered the bodies of two of the children, aged four and twelve. The ten-year-old was still alive, but died in hospital later.

According to the local Ruhr Nachrichten paper, all three showed signs of having been violently attacked, and a post-mortem showed that the two discovered dead had died of injuries unrelated to the blaze.

Police in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, arrested the unnamed woman on Friday. A motive is not yet clear.

Their father, a 41-year-old whose wife died in an accident nearly three years before, was not a suspect, the Dortmund state prosecutor said on Saturday. He was seen outside the house being comforted by neighbours.

“When a father loses three children, that’s a family tragedy,” a police spokesman said.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/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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