A toddler, who wandered away from his nursery school, drowned when he fell into a pond on a neighbouring property.
The three-year-old, identified only by his first name Ramzan, was being looked after at the Rainbow nursery school in Bad Breisig, west Germany, when the tragic incident happened.
Carers at the school were unaware Ramzan had escaped from the premises and, when they started looking for him, were shocked to find his tiny lifeless body in the pond.
On the day of the drowning there were 83 children at the school, the court heard.
At 10:30am, when the children were supposed to be playing in the exercise room, staff noticed that Ramzan was missing.
Carers started searching for him and 30 minutes later contacted emergency services to assist.
The boy's father was also called to the school and was with the staff when his son’s body was found next door.
A teacher unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the child.
Local officials said there was no clear indication that the manager of the nursery school, identified only by her first name Lore (60), was guilty of manslaughter.
However, prosecutors and the family disagreed and charges were laid.
Lore has rejected allegations of negligence against her.
In a statement at the start of the trial, her lawyer said: “From my point of view I’m not responsible for Ramzan's death. I have neither violated my supervisory duties nor acted negligently.”
Lore added that since the death of the youngster she’s found it almost impossible to work.
The boy's mother, identified only by her first name Kheda (26), said she remains speechless to this day as to how such a tragedy could have occurred.
“I trusted them with my child,” Kheda said. “How can nobody be responsible?”
Currently the trial is probing how the boy managed to get out and whether the manager was to blame for this.
Presiding judge Guido Schmitz has personally examined the security on the site and said: “The fact is we still don't know.”
The dead boy's father, Mikail, said: “I just want to know what really happened, not just for myself but also for the other children and their parents. We need to bring this case to completion. For two and a half years now, I hear my wife crying at night, and my other son still asks: ‘When will Ramzan come home?’”
Source: Magazine Features