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Berlin 'U-Bahn kicker' sentenced to nearly three years in prison

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Berlin 'U-Bahn kicker' sentenced to nearly three years in prison
Screenshot from police footage of the attack.
15:43 CEST+02:00
A court on Thursday sentenced a man to nearly three years in prison for kicking a woman down the stairs of an U-Bahn station in an attack that sparked outrage inside and outside Germany.

The Berlin court convicted 28-year-old Svetoslav S. of grievous bodily harm, sentencing him to two years and 11 months in prison for kicking the woman down the stairs at Hermannstrasse U-Bahn station last October. The attack left the victim with a broken arm and head injuries. 

After the incident, police released CCTV footage from the station in an effort to track down the attacker, sparking outrage over the widely shared video.

The footage showed Svetoslav S. walking up behind the unsuspecting woman, a bottle of beer in hand, kicking her in the back down the steps, and then walking away with his companions.

During the trial, Svetoslav S. admitted to the court that he kicked the woman, but said he could not remember the crime and that he only became aware of it when police made the CCTV footage public.

“I found it horrible myself when I saw it,” he said.

The 28-year-old Bulgarian further told the court that on the night in question, he had consumed large quantities of alcohol, smoked marijuana and consumed cocaine and crystal meth, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

He also recounted how he had fought with his wife on the same evening and had then been wound up by his elder brother, events which had soured his mood.

His wife confirmed his version of events to the court, saying that she had called him before the attack.

“I was jealous and I really annoyed him,” she said.

She also described how the couple had been married since they were 15 years old and had three children together. She said that her husband had been badly injured in a car crash in 2008 and had been aggressive and dependent on recreational drugs ever since.

A psychiatric expert testified during the trial that Svetoslav S. had reduced legal culpability because of the head injury he sustained in the car crash, as well as due to alcohol and drug abuse. The expert further said that he had an IQ of 63, and therefore could be classified as mentally handicapped, unable to completely control his emotions, according to broadcaster N-tv.

The judges ultimately gave him a lesser sentence than the three years and nine months called for by the prosecutors, Spiegel reports.

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