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CRIME

Teenage girl stabbed to death in broad daylight in west German park

A teenage boy has been arrested after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a park in the town of Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia on Monday. It was just the latest murder of an adolescent girl that has made national headlines.

Teenage girl stabbed to death in broad daylight in west German park
The scene of the murder in Viersen. Photo: DPA

A 17-year-old boy handed himself into police on Tuesday afternoon, as authorities searched for the killer of the teenage girl. The boy arrived at a police station in the presence of a lawyer and was immediately arrested.

According to Spiegel, the suspect and the victim knew one another. Several media outlets are reporting that the suspect is the girl's ex-boyfriend. Police have not confirmed either of the adolescents' identities.

Earlier in the day, police in Viersen released a 25-year-old man who had been held overnight in connection with the crime. The man was detained after fleeing from a police control. But he fled due to a drug-related misdemeanour, police said.

On Monday shortly after midday a 15-year-old Romanian girl was stabbed in a park in the town of 75,000 inhabitants. Bild reports that she was called Iulia R. and that she lived with her parents on the outskirts of town.

According to eyewitnesses, she collapsed as blood streamed from the wounds. A homeless man has told local media that he attempted to save her by holding her wounds together.

Emergency services arrived at the scene shortly after and rushed the teenager to hospital, but she died of her injuries shortly after.

Police then started a search in the town for the killer, whom witnesses described as being around 1.70 metres tall and “of southern appearance.” But police later said that these witness descriptions were unreliable and had led their investigations in the wrong direction. Reportedly, the people who had given statements to the police were under the influence of alcohol and had not actually seen the incident. 

This is the second time within a matter of days that the body of a murdered teenage girl has been discovered in Germany.

Last week, 14-year-old Susanna F.’s body was discovered near Wiesbaden in Hesse. Police suspect that she was raped and then murdered. A young Iraqi man has admitted to the murder but denied sexual assault.

Meanwhile, several teenage girls have been the victims of knife crime over the past six months.

In December last year a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a drug store in the southwest of the country. Then in March, two teenage girls, one in Flensburg and one in Berlin, were stabbed to death.

Several of the crimes appear to have been motivated by jealousy on the part of the attacker.

The fact that several of the the suspected murderers have been asylum seekers has also led to a highly contentious debate on issues such as Angela Merkel’s refugee policies and the religious and cultural backgrounds of the attackers.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) charge that Merkel made a momentous mistake by allowing hundreds of thousands of unregistered migrants to enter the country in late 2015. In the wake of the murder of Susanna F. they have called for Merkel and her entire cabinet to resign.

But critics charge the AfD with racism for statements which appear to portray all refugees who fled to Germany as dangers to society.

Their co-parliamentary leader Alice Weidel recently faced harsh criticism for disparaging remarks about girls who wear headscarves.

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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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