BERLIN (AFP) - A German court on Friday handed down an 18-month suspended sentence to the father of a 17-year-old boy who went on a rampage at his former school, shooting 15 dead before turning the gun on himself.
The court in the south-western city of Stuttgart found Joerg Kretschmer, a 54-year-old businessman, guilty of manslaughter and of breaking gun laws.
His son Tim, 17, was able to take his father's 9mm Beretta pistol in March 2009 and use it in his killing spree in the southern German town of Winnenden.
Fearing a break-in, Kretschmer kept his gun by the bedside, rather than locking it away, a mistake that cost the lives of nine of Tim's fellow students, three teachers and three others.
The Stuttgart court was ruling on an appeal after an earlier sentence of a 21-month suspended sentence. This 2011 judgement was struck down following technical irregularities.
The prosecution had argued for a harsher sentence while the defence had said the loss of his son was punishment enough for the businessman.
The massacre was the worst school shooting in Germany since April 2002, when 19-year-old Robert Steinhaeuser, a disgruntled pupil from Erfurt in eastern Germany who had been expelled, killed 16 people and then himself.