Almost seven months after the fatal attack on Malte C., a transgender man, at a German LGBTQ+ Pride celebration, a German court has sentenced the attacker to five years of confinement.
A court in Münster, a town in northwest Germany, announced on Wednesday afternoon that a verdict had been reached in the trial of Nuradi A., a 21-year-old man who confessed to bashing the deceased victim.
Nuradi A. beat Malte C. in August after a Christopher Street Day celebration when the latter attempted to stand up for several women who were bothered by the defendant.
Malte C. died several days after the attack, having suffered a brain hemorrhage from the vicious beating.
The district court in Münster sentenced Nuradi A. to five years in prison.
Further, the court ordered the defendant to be placed in a rehabilitation center, the German news outlet Westfälische Nachrichtenreported.
The court found that the young man suffers from severe alcoholism and regularly self-medicates anxiety with cannabis and an unusually high amount of pregabalin, known in the U.S. as Lyrica. The medication is prescribed to treat pain from fibromyalgia or diabetic nerve pain. Lyrica is considered the lowest in its risk for abuse, unlike opiate pain medications, and is categorized as schedule V by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The perpetrator was charged and ultimately convicted of assault resulting in death, not manslaughter or murder because prosecutors ruled out intent to kill. Since he had trained as a boxer, the prosecutor said, the defendant was under the assumption that if he knocked somebody out, they would stand back up.
“The defendant didn’t believe that he could kill him at the moment,” senior public prosecutor Dirk Ollech emphasized in a Tuesday motion, the outlet reports.
Defense attorneys had already welcomed the verdict, particularly the placement in a rehab clinic.
“He has to get away from alcohol and drugs,” defense attorney Siegmund Benecken said in a motion on Tuesday.
“The chances of success are good,” attested a court-appointed psychiatrist in her report on the accused, which also advocated for leniency.
The court sentenced Nuradi under juvenile criminal law.
“He was more like a juvenile than an adult,” the chief prosecutor said in his motion.
This is common among adolescents between 18 and 21 when specialists identify obstacles to development. For example, the government considered that when Nuradi A. committed the crime, he still lived with his mother and was financially dependent on her after fleeing from his homeland of Chechnya and spending much time alone caring for his younger brother in the Münsterland region because his mother was in a hospital with her sick sister, according to Westfälische Nachrichten.
Juvenile criminal law in Germany primarily aims to prevent young people from committing crimes again. It is not designed to punish the bad actors as much as to educate them.
A German immigration agency ordered Nuradi’s deportation, which Nuradi claims would endanger him since Chechnya has persecuted LGBTQ+ people for years and he identifies as gay. Attorneys for Nuradi believe that if he completes his rehabilitation period, the circumstances of his life may enable him to stay in Germany if the government reconsiders his residency.