Regina Gerken always stood up for others. She liked gardening and took care of a front garden on a voluntary basis. So also on a Saturday in September 2021, when within a few seconds nothing in her life and that of her family was the same as before.

Abdul Malik A., whom she did not know, stabbed her. “He was bothered by the fact that work was being done there,” the district court said on Thursday. According to the judges, A. attacked in an acutely psychotic state. They ordered his placement in a psychiatric hospital.

A. came to Germany as a refugee in 2015. “He was not strictly religious,” said the presiding judge. But around the turn of the year 2020/21, a mental illness broke out in him. He lost his job, broke off contact with friends, stopped drinking alcohol. He felt persecuted, withdrew and devoted himself more to his religion.

Out of nowhere he rammed a knife into Regina Gerken’s neck. Severe injuries resulted in paralysis on the right side. She can no longer speak. A passerby intervened and was also injured.

When he was arrested, A., who is now 30, is said to have declared that he had “sent her to paradise” and that “women should not work”. A. explained in court that he stabbed out of fear – “a mistake happened, an accident”.

[If you want to have all the latest news live on your cell phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.] Legally, the crime is attempted murder and dangerous and serious bodily harm. The accused attacked Gerken insidiously in Wilmersdorf, the verdict said. At the same time, it is about a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. In fact, his criminal responsibility had been lifted and he could not be punished.

The public prosecutor and the defense attorney had also pleaded for accommodation in the infirmary hospital. “It is clear that Mr. A. is currently dangerous,” said the lawyer. It is not an easy path for A. – “imprisoned indefinitely – it is a hard sword”.

Tagesspiegel readers were so touched by Regina Gerken’s fate that, according to an article in November, 180,000 euros came together for her care.