Germany: Victim refuses to testify after defendant proposes

BERLIN (AP) — A 48-year-old man in Germany avoided a lengthy jail sentence after he made a marriage proposal in court to the woman he was on trial for allegedly trying to kill with a bayonet and she refused to testify against him.

Judges in the western city of Bonn nonetheless convicted the man Thursday of intentional bodily harm and attempted coercion charges after concluding that the woman’s original statement to police was insufficient evidence to convict him of the more serious charge of attempted homicide.

The defendant and the 36-year-old woman already were in a relationship when he allegedly stabbed her in the head in February because he was jealous she had met with her ex-husband.

The judges criticized the victim for protecting the defendant, with whom she has a child.

Spokesman Tobias Guelich said the court sentenced the man to 18 months in prison, rejecting a suspended sentence because of his previous convictions. He already has served five months and was released Thursday pending a possible appeal.

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