Trial in Gelsenkirchen: A boy suffocates in a mini-daycare center. After the acquittal there is a tumult

In the trial surrounding the tragic death of a two-year-old in a mini-daycare center in Gelsenkirchen, the court acquitted the two accused childminders.

Trial in Gelsenkirchen: A boy suffocates in a mini-daycare center. After the acquittal there is a tumult

In the trial surrounding the tragic death of a two-year-old in a mini-daycare center in Gelsenkirchen, the court acquitted the two accused childminders. There was then a brief commotion in the courtroom: the dead boy's mother jumped up, screaming loudly, and attacked one of the childminders. Her husband was able to stop her at the last moment. Several sergeants came into the hall and secured the situation.

The little boy was placed in a bunk bed downstairs during his lunch break about two years ago. According to the investigation, he stood up, pushed up the heavy chipboard of the mattress above and got his neck trapped there. The two-year-old suffocated.

“There is no question that this is a human tragedy,” said presiding judge Karl-Martin Lucks in his verdict. But the jury did not see any breach of duty by the two childminders. There was no rule that an adult had to be in the children's room during lunch break. The women also could not have assumed that the daycare bed from a well-known manufacturer could pose a fatal danger to the boy. Therefore, the two defendants, who worked as self-employed childminders in the city-run daycare center, should be acquitted of the charge of negligent homicide. Lucks emphasized that they were not legally responsible for the boy's death.

The parents of the dead two-year-old were shocked by the acquittal. His clients were overwhelmed by their emotions, their lawyer said after the turmoil in the courtroom.

The verdict is not yet legally binding. The co-plaintiff has already announced legal remedies, but the public prosecutor's office initially did not comment on this.

In her plea, the prosecutor emphasized that she was convinced that the two 38 and 27 year old women were guilty. The prosecutor argued that they had grossly negligently violated their duty of supervision. She had asked for ten months in prison without parole.

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