The regional court in southern Germany’s lakeside city of Constance on Friday jailed the 84-year-old woman for what its presiding judge called an “absolutely gruesome murder.”
The 11-year sentence could still be appealed by prosecutors who had demanded 12 years.
In January the elderly woman, who had remained in the 73-year-old man’s house despite formal separation a decade previously, attacked him with a meat cleaver and then used matches to set ablaze gasoline she had poured on him.
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This followed his decision — after years of mutual rancor — to sell the house and begin a relationship with a new partner, the court found.
She had felt neglected and threatened, and he had suggested she move to a senior residency. She had stored gasoline on the balcony over fears that she would be evicted.
The court said it considered the woman’s incipient dementia and situation.
A separate trial in Göttigen in northern Germany Friday ended in a life-long jail sentence for a 53-year-old man who last September murdered his ex-girlfriend as she emerged from a pharmacy, as well as a female workmate who tried to intervene.
He sprayed his ex-partner with fuel and set her on fire in public view, shouting: “I warned you not to leave me,” before stabbing her more than 20 times.
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Her colleague, a 57-year-old woman, was also stabbed and died later in hospital. The assailant also injured two other people.
The man subsequently fled Göttingen in a regional train, was spotted by rail personnel and was locked inside a compartment — but he fled again by smashing a carriage window with an emergency hammer during a station halt.
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Police arrested him a day-and-a-half after the killings, after a major search involving 200 personnel that kept the regional state of Lower Saxony on edge.
“This was no spontaneous crime,” the regional court’s presiding judge told the convicted man. “You wanted to inflict suffering.”
ipj/stb (dpa, AFP)