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Father on trial for murdering step-daughter

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Father on trial for murdering step-daughter
A police image of Günther O, Madeleine and Daniel.
11:00 CEST+02:00
An Austrian man is on trial in Germany, accused of murdering his 23-year-old step-daughter in Essen, after years of imprisoning and sexually abusing her.

Günther O, originally from the Austrian province of Carinthia, fathered a child with his step-daughter Madeleine, and is believed to have started sexually abusing her when she was only 14 years old.

She managed to escape from him earlier this year and reported him to the police. They started an investigation but underestimated how dangerous he was.

Günther O used his son Daniel (22) to help lure Madeleine to his allotment. There he hit her with a hammer, choked her to death and then covered her body in concrete and buried it.  Police discovered her body on the 18th of February.

They later discovered a text message on Günther’s phone which read: "You will eventually be below the earth. I will trample on the earth and say, Madeleine, you are quiet now!"

Madeleine’s daughter is two-years-old.

Günther O is described as weighing 110 kilos, with a beer belly and shoulder-length, greasy hair. He has already served time in prison for making threats and for grievous bodily harm.  He has had various jobs, as an assistant cook, janitor, construction worker, and groundskeeper.

He met his wife in 1990, when her daughter, Madeleine, was six months old. The couple went on to have a son together, Daniel.  Externally the family is said to have appeared to be normal but the prosecution says that  Günther ran things “as a strict patriarchy and would not put up with any resistance”.  He expected “submissive behaviour” from his wife, step-daughter and son.

Daniel is also on trial, accused of being complicit in the murder.

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