Verdict: Five-year-old stabbed in Berlin-Pankow: 20-year-old has to spend almost nine years in prison

He was supposed to look after the girl and, according to the judge's conviction, killed the five-year-old in a park: nine months after the crime, the defendant was sentenced to a youth prison sentence of eight years and nine months.

Verdict: Five-year-old stabbed in Berlin-Pankow: 20-year-old has to spend almost nine years in prison

He was supposed to look after the girl and, according to the judge's conviction, killed the five-year-old in a park: nine months after the crime, the defendant was sentenced to a youth prison sentence of eight years and nine months. The Berlin district court found the 20-year-old guilty of manslaughter on Tuesday. His perpetrator has been proven beyond doubt, said presiding judge Uwe Nötzel. It is a particularly despicable act. "What we haven't figured out is the background, the motive, the occasion."

On February 21st of this year, the German defendant was with an acquaintance's four small children at a playground near the mother's apartment. When the five-year-old, the eldest of the four sisters, had to go to the toilet, he went with the child to the Pankow community park. “There he stabbed the girl with a knife,” said the judge. There were seven stabs, four of them in the torso of the child who trusted him - "he killed the girl intentionally." It bled to death within minutes.

The taking of evidence did not reveal any viable clues to a sexual motive, for example, it said. Signs of murder were not identified. Because of a reduction in intelligence and an accentuation of personality, it cannot be ruled out that he had only a reduced level of culpability according to the principle "when in doubt for the defendant", the chairman continued. However, it was not possible to reliably establish reduced criminal responsibility, which would have been one of the prerequisites for ordering placement in a psychiatric hospital as requested by the public prosecutor.

The then 19-year-old returned to the playground after the crime. Because the three younger children were alone, witnesses had already alerted the police. At the time, the defendant claimed that the five-year-old had run away from him, a police officer said at the trial. He experienced the young man as “emotionally cold”. When a feverish search for the missing girl began, the 20-year-old took part.

At around 5:30 p.m., a teacher and her twelve-year-old daughter discovered the lifeless child in a bush in Pankow Citizens Park. A police officer described at the trial: "The girl lay there as if she had been thrown." The five-year-old died a short time later in a hospital. Traces of blood on the knife, jacket and shoes as well as other evidence had convicted the defendant, the verdict continued. The court is worried about “what else might be slumbering inside him.”

The judges decided to apply juvenile criminal law with a possible maximum sentence of ten years. The prosecutor had pleaded for nine years and placement in a psychiatric hospital. According to the prosecutor, the defendant would be “extremely dangerous” without treatment. The judges essentially followed the defense's request.

The defendant was arrested on the day of the crime after the girl, who had been reported missing, was found lifeless in a bush. He has been in custody ever since. He was silent during the trial. The verdict is not yet legally binding.

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