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Obese man acquitted for squashing wife to death

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A file photo of a chest x-ray. Photo: DPA
17:18 CEST+02:00
A German appeals court overturned a five-year jail sentence on Monday for an obese bus driver who fatally squashed his wife by falling on her during a booze-fuelled row.

The court in Hildesheim near Hannover decided the 52-year-old man, who weighs more than 20 stone (130 kilos, 280 pounds), was guilty of causing bodily injuries by negligence and issued him with a warning and a fine of €2,580.

The court could not rule out an accident in the woman's death in April 2006 and actually said she was most responsible for her own death because she failed to see a doctor for a follow up appointment after an initial three days in the hospital - even when she coughed up blood for several days.

The couple had an argument over Italian music in April 2006 during which the woman poured beer over her husband's laptop computer. In the ensuing scuffle, she struck his neck, causing the man to fall on her with all of his weight, he told the court.

Six weeks later the 46-year-old woman, who was less than half her husband's weight, died from chest injuries. An autopsy found she had 18 broken ribs and several litres of fluid in one of her lungs.

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In the appeal to the five year prison sentence, the man characterised the relationship as a “forced marriage” in which there were frequent arguments about money and said his wife frequently abused him.

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