• Austria's news in English

15 years for axe killer who lived with body

The Local · 17 Jun 2015, 11:51

Published: 17 Jun 2015 11:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The German native lived with the corpse in his home for over two months, before finally confessing what he had done to friends.

His trial on Tuesday began two and a half hours late, after he complained that he had a bad headache and there were some doubts as to whether he was mentally well enough to attend.

He shuffled into the courtroom wearing pyjamas and slippers, and told the judge that he was finding it “hard to cope” with being in prison, and was keen that the trial should be over with as quickly as possible. A psychiatrist had declared him fit to stand trial.  

The accused, who according to prosecutor Karina Fehringer had taken early retirement and was suicidal and depressed, had a “social conscience” and repeatedly offered homeless people a bed for the night in his home. His friends described him as "calm and caring". 

Last year he met a 50-year-old Slovakian man and offered him a place to sleep at his apartment in Meidling. However, he became annoyed after the Slovak outstayed his welcome and was constantly turning up at his flat drunk.

"I threw him out three times but he kept coming back,” the defendant said. He added that the Slovak became aggressive towards him and that he didn’t know what to do. "I was overwhelmed."

When he turned up drunk at his home on October 26th the 52-year-old said that he cooked him a meal, and then told him it was time to go, “otherwise something bad is going to happen”.

The unwanted guest ignored him and went to sleep on the sofa. “When I woke up at 2:00am and found him still there I became enraged,” the accused said.

He took an axe from his bedroom, which he said he kept next to his bed to defend himself from intruders, and struck the Slovak with two “massive blows” to the head. When he was sure the man was dead he went back to bed and fell asleep.

He lived with the decomposing body in his home for over two months. The mummified corpse was only discovered on January 12th, after the 52-year-old (who moved in with a friend in late December because the smell in his apartment was getting too bad) confided in a drugs counsellor and two friends.

In his defence, he said that he felt that his victim was exploiting him and he could see no other way out of the situation.

A psychiatric report found that the 52-year-old suffers from a narcissistic disorder with schizoid-paranoid components, but that this did not mean he couldn’t be held responsible for his actions and it was not recommended that he be sent to a psychiatric hospital.

Story continues below…

He has been ordered to pay €9,900 in compensation and to cover funeral costs to the victim's daughter. 



For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available