Three charged after four-year-old's death


Published 6 December 2022 at 16.22

Domestic. A 4-year-old boy lost his life when he got out of his preschool, climbed over a fence and drowned in a pool. Three people, responsible within the preschool and the association that owns the property, are now charged with causing another person's death.

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It was on June 14, 2022 at a preschool in Södertälje municipality that the 4-year-old boy left the preschool by climbing over a low fence.

At the time, no adult was supervising him the child, who went to a pool in the area and died by drowning.

According to the prosecutor, the negligence consisted in the fact that those responsible did not take sufficient safety measures by not ensuring that the defective design of the fence was rectified and that they also did not take other security measures.

– I mean that the low fence was a known security risk for the defendants. Despite this, the fence has not been repaired, nor have other measures been taken, such as e.g. cordon off the area where the fence was low or place an educator overseeing the fence. I believe the failure to take safety measures was decisive for the 4-year-old getting to the pool and drowning, says prosecutor Cecilia Tepper.

The swimming pool, which is owned by a family that lives near the preschool, has had a required pool protection.

– The pool is at the back of their house and the pool cover has at least partially been on. Some of the family have been at home and had some supervision over it. Based on an overall assessment, I believe that they have not been criminally negligent and therefore I am not prosecuting them, says Cecilia Tepper.

The prosecutor has demanded that the foundation that owns the properties including the plot must pay a corporate fine of 1.5 million kroner due to specified crimes committed in the exercise of preschool activities.

– The foundation has not done what could reasonably be required to prevent the crime. They have known that the fence should be fixed but have had different ideas about when it should be done and the degree of security risk. According to the lease agreement, the foundation is responsible for the maintenance of, among other things, Fence. I believe that it could be required that the fence in the preschool's yard prevented children staying at the preschool from escaping without adult supervision. The sum that I am asking for is a balance based on the circumstances of this case, says chamber prosecutor Cecilia Tepper.