The verdict in the trial of an attempted murder involving mercury on a one-year-old girl is expected today in the Hanover Regional Court. The child’s 30-year-old father and his 34-year-old former partner are accused. Both had initially denied the accusation of attempted murder.

Shortly before the end of the trial, they admitted that they had jointly injected mercury into the little girl’s left foot and right ankle on July 24, 2023. But he didn’t want to kill his daughter, said the German. The public prosecutor’s office had demanded a twelve-year prison sentence for the man from Springe in the Hanover region and eleven years’ imprisonment for the 34-year-old German.

Revenge on the child’s mother

According to the prosecution, the man wanted to take revenge on the child’s mother, who had left him shortly after the girl’s birth. The public prosecutor therefore sees him as having low motives for murder. Both defendants are assigned the murder element of cruelty. They knew that the poison did not cause immediate death and wanted to inflict particularly severe pain on the one-year-old.

According to the prosecution, the girl suffered a purulent infection in her foot and a rash all over her body after the mercury injection. It was only during the third surgical procedure that the mercury was found by chance. According to the child’s lawyer, long-term consequences include paralysis, speech disorders and cognitive impairments.

Late partial confessions “tactical”?

From the defense’s point of view, the crime was not attempted murder, but bodily harm. The lawyers for both defendants did not call for a specific sentence. The 30-year-old and the 34-year-old asked for an apology in their last words.

In his plea, the co-plaintiff’s lawyer described the late partial confessions as “tactical” because chat histories would have proven the joint poisoning plan anyway. The 30-year-old had already found out about options for purchasing mercury on the Internet at the beginning of 2023. In January 2023, the couple watched the ZDF program “Aktenzeichen XY … unsolved”, which discussed a case involving mercury as a murder weapon. In June 2023, the partner privately purchased a wall thermometer filled with mercury via an internet platform.