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Life sentence for murder of transgender woman

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Life sentence for murder of transgender woman
Police at the scene of the crime. Photo: APA
16:12 CEST+02:00
A 32-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of a transgender asylum seeker in Vienna in January.

Hande Ö (34), who had been secretly working as a prostitute, was strangled in her home in Ottakring on January 19th.

Judge Ulrich Nachtlberger said that a life sentence was “appropriate” as there was no doubt that the defendant was guilty and meant “to destroy his victim”.

His lawyer had tried to plead manslaughter. The accused said that he and Hande Ö had “fought” after having sex, and that she had attacked him with her long fingernails, scratching him in the cheek. He said he had never meant to kill her and had thought she was just unconscious.

The accused had visited Hande Ö three times, paying her for sex. Weighing around 130 kilos, he had easily overpowered the much smaller woman, tying her hands behind her back and strangling her with her own clothes. A coroner's report showed that the woman had suffered similar injuries to hanging victims.

€3,000 was missing from her apartment, along with two smartphones.

The 32-year-old man was arrested at the end of January after committing two robberies, and DNA evidence linked him to the murder.

Hande Ö was born in Turkey but fled the country last year after being persecuted, and applied for asylum in Austria. Her body was discovered five days after she was murdered.

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