Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock

Facing a charge of possession of cannabis wasn’t enough to stop 22-year-old from Hanover from turning up at court with a bag of weed in his sock. But he didn’t reckon on the judge having such a refined nose.

Judge (literally) sniffs out offender who attends court with weed hidden in sock
Photo: DPA

Serbuhan G. was facing a charge of possession of marijuana after being caught in possession of 14 bags of the banned substance in March, the Hannoversche Zeitung (HZ) reported last week.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old still decided to attend his court hearing with a bag of weed hidden in his sock.

During proceedings Judge Koray Freudenberg smelled something unusual in the air and asked the defendant whether he was carrying drugs. Serbuhan G. denied the accusation, but that didn't convince Judge Freundenberg, who asked a police officer to search him. 

The nearest officer at hand was the same one who had searched him in March – he was giving testimony at the trial. And just as in March, the officers found the drugs stowed away in Serbuhan G.'s sock.

Judge Freudenberg issued a €1,800 fine for the first offence, while Serbuhan G. can expect to attend court again shortly over his second misdemeanour.

It wasn’t the first time that Judge Freudenberg’s nose had helped him detect a weed-related crime. Roughly a year ago he was present at a police control when he noticed a young man walking down the street carrying a large rucksack. His nostrils started quivering on that occasion too. And after an officer searched the man, he was indeed found to be in possession of grass.

“I’m something of a serial offender,” the judge told the HZ. He explained his sensitivity to the smell of marijuana as the result of training with narcotics during his time as a prosecutor, rather than the consequence of a misspent youth.


Which parts of Munich are the worst for crime?

Bavaria’s capital, Munich, is a great place to live and work, and most who live there think it’s safe. However, it’s worth knowing where and what kinds of crime occur in the city. 

Which parts of Munich are the worst for crime?

The good news is that in 2021, Munich was listed in the top 10 safest cities in the world by Numbeo, a crowdsourcing survey site dedicated to understanding perceptions of different cities and countries

However, that only captures popular sentiment. To understand where crime is happening, we must look at the statistics recorded by the city itself.

According to data provided by the city of Munich, around 60,150 crimes were reported to the police throughout the course of 2022. Each was categorised according to location and the type of crime. 

READ ALSO: Fact check – is crime really on the rise in Germany?

Aerial view of flats in Munich

An aerial view of Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt

The inner-city district of Ludwigsvorstadt, on the banks of the Isar, recorded the most crimes with 8,971 offences. Petty theft was the most common crime at 1,903, with crimes against personal freedoms – constituting verbal harassment based on race or religion – in second place at 1,577. Five physical and 174 sexual assaults were reported in 2022. 

The north-east district of Schwabing-Freimann recorded the second-highest number of crimes in 2022. Again, petty theft led to recorded incidents at 993, while crimes against personal freedoms followed behind at 850. 816 incidents of more severe property theft were recorded. Two physical assaults and 84 sexual assaults were recorded. 

The city’s historic centre, Altstadt-Lehei, came in third place regarding criminal incidents. Once more, petty theft led to 2,468 recorded incidents, with crimes against personal freedoms in second place at 1,306. A total of 863 incidents of most severe property theft were recorded. Nine physical assaults took place, and 113 sexual assaults. 

What about other areas?

While crime levels remain relatively consistent across the rest of Munich, it’s worth highlighting outliers in the university district, Maxvorstadt and the outer south-eastern district Ramersdorf-Perlach. Both districts reported, on average, over a thousand more incidents than other neighbourhoods aside from the top three with the highest crime rates.

Ramersdorf-Perlach proved a particular focus for incidents of petty theft at 1,061. Crimes against personal freedoms were the most common in Maxvorstadt. 

Munich’s safest district was the village-like surrounds of Allach – Untermenzing, in the north-west. Crimes against personal freedoms were the most prevalent, with 215 incidents and incidents of petty theft at 156.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Munich is generally a safe place to live and work. Crimes generally happen near the city centre – as with most large European cities. With a little attention paid to your belongings and a degree of common sense, your time in the city will be safe and pleasant. 

What do you think? Are there areas of Munich that you think are more dangerous than others? Let us know