German killer granny jailed for 21 years in US

A German woman who drowned her five-year-old grandson in the bath to “save him from growing up with divorced parents” escaped the death sentence on Monday, after a US court sentenced her to 21 years in jail for manslaughter.

German killer granny jailed for 21 years in US
Photo: DPA

Marianne Bordt, 73, admitted drowning Camden in the bath while he was with on holiday with her and her husband on St George Island, Florida, two years ago. She then tried to kill herself by walking into the ocean.

Her husband, who was out at the time, returned to their holiday home to find the body of the boy and his wife who told him she could not bear to see Camden grow up with divorced parents.

Bordt’s defence had been preparing to plea that she was not responsible for her actions because she had suffered a fractured skull as a girl in Germany during World War II – and had developed severe psychological problems.

A psychoneurologist was expected to tell the Florida judge that she had mental problems dating back to her injury in a bombing raid by Russian forces on her hometown of Breslau on October 7, 1944. This, combined with symptoms of depression and paranoia, contributed to the crime, her defence was going to argue.

But Judge Angela Dempsey at the Apalachicola court accepted on Monday an agreement between the two sides – Bordt confessed to killing the boy for a manslaughter charge, which does not attract the death penalty.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday that Bordt was not expected to leave jail until she is 90, as Florida law says that convicts must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

The boy’s parents had divorced when he was just one-and-a-half, leaving what his father described as hate and mistrust between the two families.

He said he did not believe his former mother-in-law was suffering from any psychological problem and said he would appeal the verdict as he wanted to see her jailed for 30 years.

“I want to see her punished like no-one has ever been punished,” he said.

“He was scared of the dark and of monsters under his bed, like every child of his age. I told Camden monsters were not real, but I was wrong.”

The Local/hc

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Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners