Midsummer murderer gets 18 years

A Swedish district court has sentenced a 33-year-old man to 18 years in prison for the murder and mutilation of a 30-year-old man on Midsummer's Eve last year in southern Sweden.

The prosecution had sought a life sentence for the suspect in the Helsingborg murder that took place in June 2010.

“Life in prison should be considered. It is the matter of a murder in which the course of events were lengthy and must have caused the victim suffering,” deputy chief prosecutor Anna Håkansson said in her closing comments.

The man was charged in December 2010 for the murder, during which he beat the victim to death with a meat cleaver in a Helsingborg apartment, then cut off his penis and stuffed it down his throat.

Helsingborg district court observed that the crime was extremely cruel, but decided on 18 years in prison, while referring to the brutality of the murder in delivering its verdict.

The medical examiner wrote in his report that “the location of the man’s penis in the throat was the last thing that may have occurred” while the victim was still alive.

In addition to the prison sentence, the man was also ordered to pay significant damages to the victim’s relatives.

The defendant’s lawyer expressed no surprise at the court’s verdict and sentence.

“This came as no surprise. The district court has already previously taken the position that he was guilty, now it was the issue of intent and in view of the classification of murder, I have nothing to say about the penalty’s value,” said the man’s lawyer Lars Kruse.

A decision has not yet been taken on whether to appeal the verdict.

“My client gets to decide that, it is his choice,” said Kruse.

The murderer and the victim had known each other in passing previously and had partied together the day before. According to the murder suspect, a debt between the two men gnawed away at him.

The man duly went to the victim’s apartment with a bag carrying a meat cleaver, awl and knife accompanied by a 27-year-old man who had promised to keep watch at the door.

An autopsy report revealed the victim had sustained over 100 injuries when he was brutally beaten on the living room floor.

The 27-year-old was on Friday sentenced to two years by the Helsingborg court for being an accessory to aggravated assault, manslaughter and theft.

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Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime