Canada pet shop owner not guilty over python child deaths

A jury in Canada has acquitted a New Brunswick pet shop owner whose python asphyxiated two young boys in 2013.

The 4.3m (14ft) snake slithered through a ventilation duct to reach the brothers, who were staying overnight in the flat above the shop.

Prosecutors said Jean-Claude Savoie had shown reckless disregard for the safety of Noah Barthe, four, and Connor, six.

But jurors accepted that Mr Savoie could not have foreseen the snake would fit through the 10cm-wide pipe. Mr Savoie therefore saw no need to secure the opening, his lawyers said.

A pathologist who performed autopsies on the boys said they died of asphyxiation and each was covered in puncture wounds from snake bites.

The African rock python was put down after the incident.

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