Crime: Trial start after poison attack at TU Darmstadt

Almost 15 months after a poison attack at the Technical University (TU) Darmstadt, the trial against a woman from Mainz began in front of the regional court there.

Crime: Trial start after poison attack at TU Darmstadt

Almost 15 months after a poison attack at the Technical University (TU) Darmstadt, the trial against a woman from Mainz began in front of the regional court there. According to the public prosecutor's office, the 33-year-old German is said to have tried to poison seven people. The prosecution assesses the act of August 2021 as insidious attempted murder with means dangerous to the public.

At the start of the trial, the public prosecutor's office requested that the accused be placed in a psychiatric clinic because of paranoid schizophrenia. The woman is said to have felt persecuted by members of the Materials Science department at the TU.

According to the public prosecutor, the student went to a laboratory on the Lichtwiese campus on the night of August 23, 2021. There she had collected poisonous substances. "The accused prepared a solution of various chemicals in the laboratory," said public prosecutor Ansgar Martinsohn. These included acetone, denatured alcohol and butanediol - a chemical that is converted into knockout drops in the body. The woman is said to have put this mixture in a honey jar, water filter and opened milk carton in two tea kitchens.

In mortal danger for a short time

The groceries were consumed by several TU members the next morning. The victims noticed very quickly that something was wrong with their coffee or tea, but by then they had already taken a more or less large sip. One injured person was in mortal danger for a short time and had to be treated in hospital. Some of the injured parties told the court that their coffee or tea tasted noticeably bitter and that they then noticed the smell of acetone or glue.

At the beginning of September 2021, the accused was arrested by the police and taken to a psychiatric clinic in Darmstadt, where paranoid schizophrenia with acoustic hallucinations was diagnosed. You seemed bizarre, said a senior doctor before the district court and remembered a plaster that was wrapped around an overly long fingernail. "She had a hat with her that had copper and aluminum foil sewn into it," the doctor said.

Auditory hallucinations

That matched the fact that she believed she was being irradiated and bugged. The patient had assumed that the voices in her head were technically and externally induced. Such an ominous technique, but a conspiracy myth, is an important explanation for patients with auditory hallucinations, the doctor said.

The trial will continue on Friday (November 11). So far, a total of 15 days of negotiations until February 6, 2023 have been scheduled for the process.

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