Three fined in Germany for failing to help dying pensioner lying unconscious on bank floor

Three defendants sit next to their lawyers Gerd Kueppers (left) and Manfred Gregorius (4th left) as they wait for the start of their trial in Essen, western Germany, on Sept 18, 2017.
Three defendants sit next to their lawyers Gerd Kueppers (left) and Manfred Gregorius (4th left) as they wait for the start of their trial in Essen, western Germany, on Sept 18, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - A German court on Monday (Sept 18) 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 (S$5,792) 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.