Pre-teen joyrider bitten by police dog

An 11-year-old boy was bitten by a police dog on Friday evening after the stolen car that he was driving was stopped. The boy and his three accomplices tried to flee on foot but he was unable to outrun the chasing dog.

The four young people sat in the car in Bålsta north of Stockholm while the police checked the ownership of the vehicle. Police discovered that the car had been reported stolen, according to local media reports.

Police then challenged the children who tried to drive away from the police patrol. They got as far as a road barrier and elected to continue their flight on foot.

Police let loose a tracker dog which managed to find the 11-year-old driver and a 14-year-old female accomplice. The boy was bitten by the dog as he resisted its advances but is reported to have suffered only minor injuries.

Both children were admitted to hospital to get their wounds dressed.

Uppsala police expressed surprise at the age of the joyriders.

“I have never experienced, in my 25 years anyway, such young people,” said Tommy Rinaldo at Uppsala police to news agency TT.

Police know the identities of the other two youths involved in the incident. They are reported to be 14 and 15 years of age.

The 15-year-old is thus the only member of the gang of four that is of the age of criminal responsibility although police were unable to confirm on Saturday morning whether they were suspected of any offence.

The four children had by Saturday morning been handed over to their parents.


Spanish banker gets jail term for trying to smuggle Picasso masterpiece out of Spain on yacht

A Spanish court has sentenced a former top banker to 18 months in jail for trying to smuggle a Picasso painting deemed a national treasure out of the country on a sailing yacht.

Spanish banker gets jail term for trying to smuggle Picasso masterpiece out of Spain on yacht
Head of a Young Woman by Pablo Picasso Photo: AFP

The court also fined ex-Bankinter head Jaime Botín €52.4 million ($58.4 million), according to the Madrid court ruling issued on January 14th which was made public on Thursday.   

It awarded ownership of the work, “Head of a Young Girl”, to the Spanish state.

Botin, 83, is unlikely to go to prison as in Spain first offenders for non-violent crimes are usually spared jail time for sentences of less than two years.   

French customs seized the work, which is estimated to be worth €26 million, in July 2015 on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, halting what they said was an attempt by Botin to export it to Switzerland to sell it.

His lawyers argued at the time that he was sending it for storage in a vault in Geneva but the court found him guilty of “smuggling cultural goods” for removing the painting “from national territory without a permit”.

Botin, whose family are one of the founders of the Santander banking group, had been trying since 2012 to obtain authorisation to export the painting.   

However Spain's culture ministry refused the request because there was “no similar work on Spanish territory” from the same period in Picasso's life.    

In 2015, a top Spanish court sided with the authorities and declared the work of art “unexportable” on the grounds that it was of “cultural interest”.    

Picasso painted it during his pre-Cubist phase in Gosol, Catalonia, in 1906. It was bought by Botin in London in 1977.

Botin's lawyers had argued that the work should not be subjected to an export ban since it was acquired in Britain and was on board a British-flagged vessel when it was seized.

When customs officials boarded the yacht, its captain only presented two documents — one of which was the court ruling ordering that the painting be kept in Spain.

The painting is currently stored at the Reina Sofia modern art museum in Madrid, which houses Picasso's large anti-war masterpiece “Guernica”.

READ MORE: Banking family's Picasso seized on Corsica boat