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CRIME

Purported paedophile attacked in Bremen after TV report

A 50-year-old man was severely beaten at his home in northwest Germany by a mob believing they recognized him from a television programme about paedophiles, police said on Thursday.

Purported paedophile attacked in Bremen after TV report
Photo: DPA

In what authorities called a case of “vigilante justice”, the assailants will face charges of attempted murder.

The incident occurred on Tuesday after a television show was aired in which reporters attempt to contact suspected paedophiles via the internet.

The programme showed a man whose behaviour was deemed by the reporters to be suspicious.

After it was aired, local viewers thought they recognized the man and his address, went to his home and beat him savagely, leaving him critically injured.

The victim's life is no longer in danger and police said they had no reason to believe that he or anyone else from his block of flats was guilty of child abuse.

No suspects have been arrested and police asked the public for tips.

“The Bremen police stress that no one has the right to take justice into their own hands,” they said in a statement.

“Vigilante justice is intolerable. It is the task of prosecutors and the police to investigate crimes.”

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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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