Nurse and mother Sheryl Andeguer came to Australia to start a new life. But investigators believe a $4.99 charger may have ended it.
A young mother-of-two apparently electrocuted by a faulty phone charger had moved to Australia only months earlier to start a new life, loved ones say.
Philippines-born Sheryl Andeguer was found dead in her NSW Central Coast home on April 23 with burns to her head, ears and chest.
It is believed she was wearing earphones, and was found lying near a smartphone and a plugged-in laptop.
Investigators believe a faulty USB charger that connected her phone to her computer may have sent 240 volts coursing through her body, but the matter is now before the coroner.
Ms Andeguer’s former roommate said the 28-year-old had only arrived in the country last August to take a bridging course that would allow her to work as a nurse in Australia.
She had just moved to North Gosford after lining up a job there and was hoping her young family could soon join her.
“Sheryl’s a wonderful person,” friend Charisse Anne told AAP.
“She has a very positive outlook in life and she’s a friend to everyone.”
Ms Andeguer is survived by her husband and two young children.
The owner of the Campsie phone accessories store suspected of selling her the dodgy charger for $4.99 now faces possible prosecution and, if convicted, could spend up to two years behind bars or heavy fines.
The inner western Sydney store is believed to have shut down since NSW Fair Trading officials swooped last week to seize chargers, travel adaptors and power boards that did not meet safety standards.
But authorities say cheap and potentially deadly chargers are readily available online.
“The last reported fatality we had around an electrical appliance was five years ago,” Fair Trading expert Lynelle Collins told AAP.
“It’s not happening every day … But sometimes when you buy the really cheap products you’re getting an inferior product, so if it seems too good to be true, sometimes it is.”
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said there was a “real and present danger” with electrical items that are not approved to Australian standards.
“We’ve been trying to hammer that message for some time, but I suppose this is a bit of a wake-up call,” Mr Stowe told AAP.
“With electrical items, you don’t get much of a second chance.”
Anyone who has already bought unapproved and non-compliant USB-style chargers, used to charge phones and tablets, is advised to bend the pins on the chargers and throw them away immediately.