A man from northern Germany has admitted to attempted murder by tying a rope around his ex-girlfriend's neck and dragging her behind his car. During the assault, the couple's young son had been inside the car.
The 39-year-old man admitted his guilt in the first day of a hearing at a court in Hanover on Monday.
The defendant's lawyer said his client had tried to kill the woman last November by dragging her along on a rope more than 200 meters (650 feet) along asphalt and cobbled roads in the town of Hameln. The rope eventually became undone from the car's tow-bar but, by this time, the woman had suffered serious injuries.
Police arrested the man, who had been driving with the couple's son in the car, after the woman was found by bystanders lying in the street.
The defendant reportedly handed himself in at a police station, while the woman was immediately taken to hospital where she was put into an induced coma. The woman, who is German and of Kurdish descent, was taken to a specialist clinic by helicopter for further treatment. While she survived the assault, she reportedly still suffers from the effects.
Attacked with ax and knife
Beforehand, the man was reported to have attacked the victim with a knife and the blunt end of an ax.
A woman who had been the man's partner previously, who along with the son was a joint complainant, was called as a witness on the opening day of the hearing. Nine witnesses were due to testify in all over the course of three days.
The lawyer said his client deeply regretted his actions, but did not give a reason for the attack in his opening comments.
Before the attack the couple had been at odds over custody and maintenance of the child. The man had reportedly threatened the woman that one of them - either him or her - would not live if maintenance demands were not dropped.
The defendant claimed to the court that he had not intended to kill the woman before traveling to see her, but had wanted to kill himself. He had said he rope and ax were in his car for gardening work.