Father sentenced for overheated child in car

The father who left his baby daughter in a closed hot car heard the sentence on November 3.

Jozef K. arrives with his wife to court.Jozef K. arrives with his wife to court. (Source: SITA)

This is the first such case in Slovakia; courts in many other countries, including the USA, often deal with such tragedies. Often, parents do not go to prison abroad, the Denník N daily wrote.

The father was found guilty and sentenced to two years, suspended for two years by the Judge Vladimír Sopúch of the District Court in Nitra.

In July 2015, the businessman from Nitra, identified as Jozef K. and aged 58, drove Kristína, aged two, to his office, and forgot her in the car parked outside close to his office. He started his working day; all the time, he was sure his daughter was in kindergarten, the Sme daily wrote. He only remembered the child at 14:30 when his wife called that Kristína was not in the nursery school. The girl had died within about half an hour, of overheating, progressing fluently from sleep to unconsciousness. She could not have been noticed in the car, as the rear windows were tinted black, according to Denník N.

“I feel terribly guilty for failing to protect my child,” the father said, as quoted by Denník N. “I feel guilty for having caused this horror. Whatever the verdict will be, it will not play any role in our lives. Its impact will pass but we will live on and the horror will stay with us. Please, consider this. I only want to hope and believe that this will never happen,” he summed up in his closing statement.

The prosecutor asked for a prison sentence of two to five years, while the lawyer, Daniel Lipšic, asked for him to be acquitted.

After consulting his lawyer, the father appealed the verdict. Earlier, he had refused the plea bargain, claiming he felt not guilty.

The prosecutor has still 12 days left to appeal.

The tragedy struck Slovakia last year, with many people sympathising with the father, perceiving him as a victim, too. His wife, aged 33, offered him open support all the way long. They have also an older daughter, aged seven.

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