German teens jailed for murdering 'hero'

6th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A German court Monday handed down jail terms to two teenagers for beating to death a 50-year-old man who tried to protect a group of children from them, in a case that shocked the country.

The court in the southern city of Munich sentenced Markus Schiller, 19, to nine years and 10 months in a juvenile detention centre for the murder of businessman Dominik Brunner.

His accomplice, 18-year-old Sebastian Leibinger, was sentenced to seven years for bodily harm resulting in death.

Last September, the pair, who had been drinking heavily throughout the day, had tried to bully a group of younger children into handing over 15 euros (19 dollars) on a regional train.

When Brunner saw the altercation, he confronted the assailants, offered to exit the train with the frightened children at a station and alerted the police on his mobile phone.

Schiller and Leibinger followed the group off the train and began kicking and punching Brunner. They inflicted more than 40 blows in less than one minute and Brunner suffered a heart attack that resulted in his death.

The case triggered an outpouring of rage and sorrow across the country, as the media mourned Brunner as a fallen hero. The then president Horst Koehler posthumously awarded Brunner the Federal Cross of Merit for civil courage.

© 2010 AFP

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