Three fined in Germany for failing to help dying pensioner

A German court on Monday fined three people for failing to help a pensioner lying unconscious on the floor of a bank, instead walking around and even stepping over him.

In the nearly one-year-old incident captured on video camera, the 83-year-old man had collapsed and hit his head. He then fell unconscious on the floor of a cash machine room of a bank in the western city of Essen.

“No one wanted to help,” said trial judge Karl-Peter Wittenberg, who handed out fines of up to 3,600 euros ($4,300) to one 39-year-old woman and two men aged 55 and 61.

Two of the defendants testified that they thought the man was homeless and just asleep.

It took at least seven minutes until another bank customer phoned emergency services. They arrived 20 minutes later to ferry the man to hospital, but he never regained consciousness and died a week later.

A medical expert testified in court that the man would have died even if he had received medical attention more promptly.

German law punishes the failure to respond to a medical emergency, and the offence is punishable by a fine or up to one year in jail. Everyone is required to at least alert emergency services, if they lack first aid skills.



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