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OFFBEAT

Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock

Facing a charge of possession of cannabis wasn’t enough to stop 22-year-old from Hanover from turning up at court with a bag of weed in his sock. But he didn’t reckon on the judge having such a refined nose.

Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock
Photo: DPA

Serbuhan G. was facing a charge of possession of marijuana after being caught in possession of 14 bags of the banned substance in March, the Hannoversche Zeitung (HZ) reported last week.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old still decided to attend his court hearing with a bag of weed hidden in his sock.

During proceedings Judge Koray Freudenberg smelled something unusual in the air and asked the defendant whether he was carrying drugs. Serbuhan G. denied the accusation, but that didn't convince Judge Freundenberg, who asked a police officer to search him. 

The nearest officer at hand was the same one who had searched him in March – he was giving testimony at the trial. And just as in March, the officers found the drugs stowed away in Serbuhan G.'s sock.

Judge Freudenberg issued a €1,800 fine for the first offence, while Serbuhan G. can expect to attend court again shortly over his second misdemeanour.

It wasn’t the first time that Judge Freudenberg’s nose had helped him detect a weed-related crime. Roughly a year ago he was present at a police control when he noticed a young man walking down the street carrying a large rucksack. His nostrils started quivering on that occasion too. And after an officer searched the man, he was indeed found to be in possession of grass.

“I’m something of a serial offender,” the judge told the HZ. He explained his sensitivity to the smell of marijuana as the result of training with narcotics during his time as a prosecutor, rather than the consequence of a misspent youth.

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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