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Couple's killer sentenced to 13 years in prison
Joakim Ericsson with defence lawyer Kai Erwall, July 2009

Couple's killer sentenced to 13 years in prison

Published: 16 Dec 2010 16:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2010 16:15 GMT+01:00

A 25-year-old man suspected of killing and dismembering a couple from the Båstad area in western Sweden was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Thursday for murder, manslaughter and disturbing the peace of the dead.

The killer, Joakim Ericsson, was on trial for murders of Sölve Svensson, 64, and Irene Saldert, 58, who were last seen alive at their home in Båstad in mid-January 2007.

The court found Ericsson guilty of manslaughter for the killing of Svensson, but that he had committed murder in the killing of Saldert.

According to the district court in Helsingborg, the killing of Svensson was an impulsive act preceded by laughs and shoves which escalated into a brawl at the Hovs Hallar nature reserve northwest of Båstad on Sweden's southwestern coast.

In the killing of Svensson, the court found that no basis for assuming the killing was planned or that it resulting from a drawn out series of events. As a result, the court deemed the crime manslaughter.

However, the court stated that in the case of Saldert, there was more scope for Ericsson to have calmed down and considered his actions. In addition, the older woman did not pose a physical threat to him.

Evidence suggested that she was killed by several blows without having put up any major resistance. As a consequence, the court determined that to a certain extent, the crime was premeditated act and convicted Ericssson of murder in her death.

The trial marked the second time Ericsson has been on trial for charges related to the couple's disappearance, having first been arrested in March 2007 on suspicion of fraud after he sold the couple's car and took out large loans in Svensson's name.

Prosecutors were granted a new trial after the couple's mutilated and dismembered bodies were found in May 2008 in Häljasjön lake near Veberöd, 140 kilometres southwest of Hovs Hallar, in an area known to Ericsson.

The prosecution had requested for Ericsson to be sentenced to life in prison, citing the particular ruthlessness in his violent attacks on the elderly couple, who had no opportunity to defend themselves.

The defence charged that Ericsson was in a bubble and was not capable of assessing the consequences of his actions.

Ericsson's defence lawyer, Lars Tindberg, has not yet had the opportunity to read the 64-page verdict, but is satisfied that his client has not received a life sentence.

"It feels good. It was what we called for, that he would receive a fixed term of imprisonment," said Tindberg.

The district court ruled that the deaths failed to qualify as the "most serious cases of deliberate killing," which Sweden's Supreme Court has determined is a criterion for life sentences.

The highest fixed term of imprisonment that could be imposed when the offence was committed four years ago is 14 years in prison. Since Ericsson has already served one year in prison, the district court handed him a 13-year sentence.

"I have not gotten hold of my client, so I do not know how he feels. I cannot comment on a possible appeal until I have analysed the district court's various assessments," said Tindberg.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:17 December 16, 2010 by procrustes
How does one "disturb the peace of the dead"?

This sounds like medieval poppycock. Put him in jail, for sure, but not for mythological nonsense.
19:20 December 16, 2010 by dizzy09
13 years in prison for manslaughter and murder!!!shame on Sweden's judiciary system.I'm sure he would have gotten life if he had evaded tax.
19:25 December 16, 2010 by Hindustani786
He is a TERRORIST, So sad to hear about that old couple, may god give them some peace.
19:56 December 16, 2010 by Syftfel
Killing and dismembering???? I can think of a number of people I would like to kill and dismember, if all I can be guaranteed is 13 years. This of course usually means you're out in 4. Based on what I know about the Swedish prison system, it would be like a nice long, all expenses paid, vacation with nothing to do except going to the gym! Can you imagine what I would look like after 4 years in the gym?? You'd do me a great favor, since I could earn mucho dollars on that buff body. Hmmmmmm. I need to think about this one.
20:39 December 16, 2010 by Swedesmith
Think of the fun you can have in the shower!
20:50 December 16, 2010 by Ravioli
13 years? That's like an eternity compared to what murderers usually get in Sweden. Also, named and pic in the paper...interesting. And who called this guy a, 'terrorist?' That was highly ignorant.
21:33 December 16, 2010 by bolababu
no redneck comments today, surprising.
22:28 December 16, 2010 by maxbrando
Well, 13 years in the gulag would really scare the s... out of him - and he would not leave the same man. Why doesn't Sweden export him to the countries really need the money - really horrible places, like Russia, anywhere in the Balkans, Turkey?? Pay the upkeep price it takes in Sweden to house a prisoner. The country could keep about 75% of the money, I'll bet.
22:35 December 16, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan
Outrageous and hypocritical! I guess since he is a homosexual European is more than forgiven for murdering these two people.
22:42 December 16, 2010 by stillwatersrd
That kid creeps me out everytime I see him. No conscience. No remorse.
02:01 December 17, 2010 by Swedesmith
Original BM: I don't see in the story where it mentions he is a homosexual...do you have personal knowledge that you'd like to share?
02:18 December 17, 2010 by Roy E
Two lives for only thirteen years.

Life sure is cheap in Sweden.
06:38 December 17, 2010 by Tennessee Thunder
Way ta go Sweden,you once again have proven just how stupid you are.
08:12 December 17, 2010 by JulieLou40
How can they call a 58 year old woman elderly? Older, yes. But not elderly, surely??
12:01 December 17, 2010 by leiiel
I imagine that it is quite expensive to give someone a life sentence. It's much cheaper to give murderers light sentences and let them out early. (Remember, the Swedish healthcare system sucks, in part, because there's no money.) Sweden gives light sentences for horrible crimes because Sweden can't afford to keep people in jail. So, we get to walk around with murderers. I would like to see the numbers on how many convicted murderers are walking around free right now in Sweden. Anyone have any ideas about this? What about other crimes as well... violent crimes? rape? etc. In 13 years or less, Mr. Ericsson will be out and about again. How many "Ericssons" are out right now?

I think maxbrando had a very interesting idea... If Sweden outsources healthcare to cheaper countries, then why does it not outsource convicts to cheaper countries as well?
12:23 December 17, 2010 by Matan
Would they reveal his name if he was Muslim?
12:37 December 17, 2010 by matale
Wow!! 13 years for taking two lives! WT#!!

That Xbox moder was about to get 10 years for modifying a damn video game console!!
14:47 December 17, 2010 by Vendorune
Sweden lost all touch with reality == needs more crime
10:07 December 18, 2010 by cmbsweden
I am astounded...13 years.....

That dude should be locked up for at least 30 years, minimum, if not for life....
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