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CRIME

Trial begins of mother who threw children out of 2nd floor window

A 34-year-old woman is on trial for triple attempted murder after she threw her three children eight metres out of a window in western Germany.

Trial begins of mother who threw children out of 2nd floor window
The defendant (front left) in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

At the start of the trial in Krefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday, the court heard how the woman threw her children out of the second floor window while they were sleeping.

All three children, who at the time were six, four and three years old, survived the fall, but with life-threatening injuries.

The court is assessing whether the woman’s psychological state means that she cannot be found guilty of the crime.

The judge is to decide if the woman will be taken into psychological care after hearing a report from a psychologist on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman was taken into a psychological facility after the incident in June.

On the request of the defence, the judge closed the doors of the courtroom to the general public, saying that the rights of the mother and her children needed to be protected.

The children have all made good recoveries considering the seriousness of their injuries and now live with their father.

In a similar case, a man was sentenced to 15 years in jail in November after he threw his three young children out of a window, seriously injuring two of them.

The crime made international headlines after the prosecution claimed that the father, a Syrian refugee, had attacked his children in anger at his wife’s desire to enjoy western freedoms.

CRIME

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

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