The 20-year-old takes his verdict calmly and listens carefully to the reasoning of the presiding judge. He keeps looking at his relatives on the benches on Wednesday. Around seven months after his violent attack on a transman at Christopher Street Day in Münster, the regional court sentenced the accused to five years of youth imprisonment for bodily harm resulting in death. The chamber ordered accommodation in a rehabilitation center for addicted offenders.

“We see an intent to cause bodily harm, but we don’t see an intent to kill,” said the judge. The accused confessed to the crime and showed remorse. He hit Malte C. twice in the head at the CSD in August 2022, the 25-year-old hit the asphalt and died days later as a result of a traumatic brain injury. According to the court, he had previously stood protectively in front of several people who had taken part in the CSD and had been aggressively insulted and insulted by the accused.

Malte showed civil courage, emphasized the judge. This cost him his life. The chamber also imposed the youth penalty because of the seriousness of the crime. The public prosecutor had demanded a youth sentence of five years. The defense had pleaded for an “appropriate youth sentence” and emphasized that the most important thing for the client was therapy and overcoming his drug and alcohol addiction.

Shortly after the verdict, defense attorney Siegmund Benecken told the dpa that the decision was “completely in our interest”. The placement of his client in the rehabilitation center should take place as soon as the judgment is final. According to a court spokesman, both parties have one week after the announcement of the decision to appeal.

The judge explained the motive that the chamber could not determine that the accused had attacked Malte C. because he was a trans man. According to his own statements, the 20-year-old wanted to “reduce stress”. After the fact, there was queer hostility. “We can’t determine that as a motive either” – even if the insults expressed by the accused are to be evaluated as anti-queer. The 20-year-old also had peaceful contact with several CSD participants on the day of the crime. The act shocked people throughout Germany and triggered debates about homophobic, anti-trans and anti-queer attitudes and defamation.

According to the chamber, the Russian defendant has “considerable maturity deficits” – also due to his difficult childhood and life story. In criminal law relating to young people, the focus is on the concept of education. An expert had attested the young man to have a personality disorder and “significant developmental obstacles”. But he is fully culpable. The court agreed with this assessment.

The judge saw the danger that the accused would commit further “serious crimes” while consuming alcohol. He was repeatedly noticed by violent crimes. A conviction for intentional bodily harm in 2022 did not stop him from the new act of violence. The verdict is also aimed at “educational effect”. The chances of success with therapy are considered to be good.

Juvenile criminal law allows for a range of sentences of between six months and ten years in the present case. The chamber took into account the defendant’s “full confession”, his remorse, the stress caused by the pre-trial detention and also the consumption of alcohol and drugs, which at least led to disinhibition. He was not drunk at the time of the crime.

On Tuesday, the expert reported on depressive tendencies, social anxiety, addiction to cannabis and alcohol, pill abuse and repeated violent crimes under the influence of addictive substances. It was difficult for him to adjust from the Chechen to the German culture at the age of about twelve. Only intermittent boxing temporarily stabilized him.

Defense attorney Benecken stated that his client had remained silent about his homosexual orientation for a long time out of shame. He is afraid of being deported to the Russian republic of Chechnya. Homosexuality is “highly frowned upon there,” he emphasized in his plea. Benecken called the fact that he wanted to protect himself from deportation by pointing out his homosexuality a “bad insinuation”. The court was convinced that the accused had told the truth about his sexual orientation.