Man dies in Germany four years after colleague poisoned his sandwich with mercury

A man in Germany has died four years after eating a sandwich his co-worker poisoned with mercury.

The 26-year-old's death was confirmed on Thursday by the state court in Bielefeld, which convicted the suspect in the case last year.

German news agency dpa reported that the man had been in a coma since the poisoning and his parents spoke about his suffering during the trial.

A 57-year-old man, identified only as Klaus O. for privacy reasons, was sentenced to life in prison last March after the court found him guilty of attempted murder.

The defendant, who has appealed against the verdict, had peppered co-workers' food with mercury and other substances over several years, leaving one in a coma and two others with serious kidney damage.

He was arrested in May 2018 after surveillance video showed him putting a suspicious powder on a colleague's sandwich at their workplace in the town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock.

Exposure to mercury can cause a number of health issues including skin, neurological and kidney problems.

Most exposure comes from eating fish, coal and gold mining, or dental fillings.