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CRIME

Child ‘stabbed to death by mum’s boyfriend’

An eight-year-old boy was killed on Wednesday night after his mother’s boyfriend apparently stabbed him to death and then tried to kill himself, German police said on Thursday.

Child 'stabbed to death by mum's boyfriend'
Photo: DPA

The 28-year-old woman woke up shortly after midnight when she heard her boyfriend pacing around her flat in Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, a police spokesman said.

Her son woke up too – and the 27-year-old man went into the boy’s bedroom and stabbed him several times with a knife.

“The mother grabbed her son and ran out into the street,” the police spokesman said.

Neighbour Annegret Sante said she heard the woman screaming. “I heard the mother calling, ‘Help, help, my child. Someone call the police, he’s bleeding to death’,” she said.

Police arrived and managed to keep the boy alive until medical emergency services arrived, but he died later in hospital.

Police confirmed to the WAZ regional newspaper on Thursday that the man had suffered from depression and panic attacks, and was taking medication to help with his problems. He and the boy’s mother had been together for about half a year, the paper said.

He had not been violent before, the paper said. After attacking the boy with an 18-centimetre long kitchen knife, the man hurt himself so badly that he had to be put in an artificial coma, although his life is not thought to be in danger.

Three children who were killed in Dortmund last week, before their flat was set on fire, will be buried in Turkey, it was announced this week. Their father’s girlfriend is suspected of having killed the children aged four, 10 and 12.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

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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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