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OFFBEAT

Murder suspect sent 10,000 texts from jail

A 31-year-old man recently convicted of stabbing a man to death used a smuggled mobile phone to send more than 10,000 text messages from inside his cell in a Swedish jail.

Murder suspect sent 10,000 texts from jail

“I have never heard of anything like this, it is startling,” said district prosecutor Anna-Karin von Schoultz.

The 31-year-old was not allowed any contact with the outside so he couldn’t jeopardise the preliminary investigation into a gruesome stabbing that occurred in Växjö last autumn.

Yet during his time in custody the man sent an average of 90 text messages per day. The personnel at the remand facility noticed nothing.

“We received information as early as during the preliminary investigation that the man was able to communicate with the outside world,” von Schoultz told local paper Smålandstidningen.

The police then started mapping the phone traffic and their investigation shows that the man started using the mobile about a month after he was taken into custody.

The calls and texts only subsided when one of the witnesses testified that he had been in contact with the man.

According to Smålandstidningen the man was in regular contact with several key witnesses in the murder investigation and sometimes spoke on the phone for up to an hour.

In order to get to the bottom with the matter the man was transferred to another jail. His cell was searched repeatedly but no phone was found.

However, police were able to see from the mobile phone traffic that he managed to bring the phone with him both to the new holding facility in Jönköping and back again.

The allegations are grave against the two prisons in Växjö and Jönköping.

Joakim Ringek, regional head of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården), did not want to comment on the ongoing misconduct investigation.

“But hypothetically speaking it is very serious if a detained individual have been able to communicate with the outside world,” said Ringek.

Since the investigations were initiated the man has undergone body searches and police have repeatedly searched the cells he have been detained in. No phone has so far been found.

The man was convicted to 12 years in prison by Växjö District Court in February but has appealed the verdict.

The case will come up in the Court of Appeal next week. The man remains adamant he is innocent.

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HEALTH

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 

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