Prison sentences for manslaughter in Sweden range from six to ten years.
The head prosecutor Mikael Björk refused to comment on why the 31-year old received the minimum sentence.
He wasn’t prepared to state whether or not he would appeal the ruling before he had read it completely, he said after the sentence was announced.
Judge Jan Alvå emphasized that the case rested in large part on the 31-year old’s version of events.
The court was unanimous in finding that the man lacked malicious intent in the case. He took a conscious risk, knowing his girlfriend could die, when he hit her in the head with a board.
According to the judge, the fact that he then set a noose around her neck using straps from a toy shows that he was unaware of the effects of the blow.
The judge believed as well that it was not a case of a planned murder, which played a role in how the sentencing.
“That it happened quite quickly is very clear,” said Alvå.
The woman’s parents and her five children are each set to receive monetary damages equal to 50,000 kronor ($7,600). Both of the victim’s siblings and the two fathers of her four oldest children had also sought damages, but were not awarded any.
The prosecutor has requested a sentence of 10 years for the 31-year old, who confessed that he’d killed his girlfriend and then hid the body.
He asserted that there wasn’t any direct motive in the case, but rather that the 31-year old took a known risk when he committed the violent act against his girlfriend and that in the heat of the moment, the suspect was unaware of what the exact consequences of the act might be.
Defence attorney Stig Brunnström believed that it was not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman died of the blow to the head, followed by strangulation, as the prosecutor asserted.
Brunnström wanted the suspect to be tried for manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter.