Two men who are friends drink together and get into an argument – then one kills the other with an iron bar: the Hamburg Regional Court imposed a long sentence for the act in July 2022. But it also opens up a perspective for the perpetrator.
On Friday, the Hamburg Regional Court sentenced a defendant to eight years in prison for manslaughter with an iron bar. The criminal court also ordered the 43-year-old to be placed in an alcohol rehab clinic, a court spokesman said.
The chamber is convinced that the German killed a 68-year-old in his apartment in Neugraben on the night of July 1 last year. He hit the elderly man several times on the head and upper body with an iron bar weighing five kilograms. The victim suffered serious injuries and suffocated with blood in his lungs.
Both men belonged to the drinking scene
The two men had been friends since 2008, belonged to the drinking scene in Neugraben and had drunk alcohol together before the crime. The court assumed that the accused was intoxicated with 3.8 per thousand. He had also taken drugs. His criminal responsibility had been significantly reduced.
The court ruled in the defendant’s favor. However, he had not been able to remember what actually happened. The motive for the beatings remained unclear. The defendant reported a dispute but did not mention any provocation on the part of the victim or even asserted an act of self-defense. Since such an account would have been difficult to refute, the court gave him special credit for the confession.
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Nevertheless, it is in fact due to the serious injuries to no less serious case. However, the murder characteristic of cruelty was not met because the victim quickly became unconscious.
“In general usage, it is of course cruel when a person is hit with an iron bar,” said the presiding judge, Birgit Woitas, according to the court spokesman. But in the legal assessment, the suffering of the victim is in the foreground.
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The court ruled that the accused had a substantial criminal record. At the time of the crime he was on probation. According to the spokesman, the district court in Harburg had sentenced him to assault in early 2019. The victim then was the same man whom the 43-year-old later killed with an iron bar.
The public prosecutor had demanded a prison sentence of nine years, the defense four to five years, each for manslaughter. If the verdict becomes final, the accused would first have to spend two years in prison. If the two to three-year withdrawal therapy should then be successful, the accused could be released after serving two-thirds of the sentence, the court spokesman said.