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Teenage suspect held after stabbing at southern Swedish school

A man who was stabbed by a pupil at a school in Eslöv, southern Sweden, on Thursday is reported to be awake and in stable condition.

Teenage suspect held after stabbing at southern Swedish school
Police and council representatives at a press conference after the attack in Eslöv. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A teenager reportedly wielding a knife was arrested on Thursday after entering a school in southern Sweden and attacking an employee who was taken to hospital, police said.

Witnesses said the assailant walked through school wielding a large knife and wearing a helmet, a mask and what appeared to be a bullet proof vest, according to reports in local media.

Police arrived at the scene in the southern town of Eslöv after receiving an emergency call at 8.40am as the school day was getting under way.

“Police were able to overpower the suspect (…) it was quite chaotic at the scene,” police spokeswoman Ewa-Gun Westford told reporters.

They did not say whether the assailant, who is 15, was carrying a knife, confirming only that he had a weapon.

Swedish media reported that the boy was a student at the school.

He was arrested on suspicion of “attempted murder”, police said.

The 45-year-old school employee who was injured in the attack was taken to hospital for surgery.

Details of his injuries were not disclosed, but public broadcaster SVT reported on Friday that the man was awake and in stable condition.

Media reports said students were locked in their classrooms for more than 90 minutes during the incident, which took place on the second day of the school term.

Some students reportedly jumped out of classroom windows during the attack, witnesses told local media.

“There was a guy with a long knife who came into the school. He was wearing a mask with a skeleton on it, a helmet and what looked like a bulletproof vest. It was really scary,” one student told the regional Skånska Dagbladet newspaper.

Eslöv municipality said no students had been injured, and that pupils were later evacuated from the school to an adjacent sports hall.

“This is horrible. School should be a safe place for students, teachers and everyone who is there,” Eslöv mayor Johan Andersson said in a statement.

School attacks are rare in Sweden.

In October 2015, three people were killed in a racially-motivated attack at a school in the western town of Trollhättan by a far-right assailant later killed by police.

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CRIME

Sweden’s ‘snippa’ rape case to go to the High Court

When Sweden's appeals court threw out a guilty verdict in a child rape case over the meaning of 'snippa', a child's word for a vagina, it caused a scandal in Sweden. Now, the Swedish Supreme Court wants to hear from the Court of Appeals about its decision.  

Sweden's 'snippa' rape case to go to the High Court

Attorney General Petra Lundh criticised the appeals court for “a number of serious miscarriages of justice” in the way it dealt with the case. 

The man had been sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2021 after the district court heard how he, in the prosecutor’s words, had “by sticking his hand inside the plaintiff’s shorts and underwear, holding his hand on the the girl’s ‘snippa’ and having a finger inside her ‘snippa’, performed a sexual act” on her. 

The girl’s testimony was found to be credible, in part because she had told her mother about the incident on their way home.

But in February this year, the appeals court threw out the conviction, arguing that it was unclear what the girl means by the word snippa, a word taught to Swedish children to refer to female genitalia.

Despite agreeing with the district court that the man had touched the girl between her legs and inserted his finger into her snippa, the court found that it could not be determined whether the girl was referring to her vulva or to her vagina.

If the man had inserted his finger into her vagina, that would have met the standard to be classified as rape. Because the girl said that his finger was “far in”, but could not state exactly how far, the appeals court found that it could not establish beyond doubt that the man had inserted his finger in her vagina and not her the vulva.

Because no lower-grade charges, such as sexual abuse or molestation, had been filed against the man, the appeals court could not consider other offences.

This week, the Attorney General lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court against the appeal court’s decision. Now the Swedish Supreme Court has given the appeals court until April 12 to explain its decision-making in the case.

The Supreme Court has not decided whether it will hear an appeal against the decision to clear the man of rape charges.

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