A four-year-old boy died after being electrocuted by a faulty till while helping his dad pack shopping in a supermarket, a court has heard.
Two supermarket owners have avoided jail as a result of the tragedy.
The young boy, identified only as Jonathan, was shopping with his dad in Hamburg, northern Germany, when it happened.
They were standing in the checkout queue when the boy suddenly collapsed.
The distraught father told police that one minute his son was helping him put the shopping on the belt, and the next he was being told that he was dead.
A police investigation confirmed the father’s initial suspicions that Jonathan died from an electric shock at the checkout.
The father said: “Suddenly, he was clinging to the opened cash register. His eyes were wide open, he did not utter a sound. I tried to grab my son, but I also got a strong shock.”
Reports said that shoddy work carried out on the checkout had left electrical wiring in contact with the till’s metal parts, which then electrocuted the boy when he accidentally touched it.
The two supermarket owners, a 48-year-old woman and her 44-year-old brother, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter through culpable negligence by a Hamburg court.
However, they were both received a suspended sentence of 10 months and walked out of the courthouse free.
The public prosecutor requested a probation period of one year while the defendant’s lawyer called for a full acquittal.
According to the judge, the Turkish-German siblings violated monitoring and inspection duties which led to the death on May 31 2016.
The judge blamed them for not properly monitoring the electrical work at the store as a long-standing problem had already been established.
After Jonathan’s electrocution, a woman came forward to say that she had also previously complained about getting an electric shock from the checkout.
According to the judge, “no judgment or punishment could ease the parent’s pain”.
Jonathan’s father was reportedly sitting petrified in the courtroom during the case while according to their lawyer the boy’s mother could not attend as it is too stressful for her.
Jonathan’s aunt Makbule B. said: “For me it is important that such a thing would never happen again.”
It is unclear if the family plan to appeal the ruling.