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Longer sentence for man who killed 'by mistake'

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14:14 CEST+02:00
The 37-year-old man who claimed he accidentally killed a 17-year-old girl during a sex act "that went too far” was given a longer sentence by the Swedish court of appeals on Friday.

“I think this is a good verdict,“ said deputy prosecutor Yvonne Rudinsson to news agency TT.

She had argued that the 37-year-old should be sentenced to life but said she could both understand and accept that the court of appeals ruled for fixed term imprisonment.

“Generally it takes a lot to get over the mark to a life sentence. I still felt that there was a point to have it tried,” Rudinsson said.

In February the man had been charged with murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, as well as with child rape in connection with a separate incident from 2007.

In May, the 37-year-old was convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, but the rape charges were then dismissed.

The 17-year-old “Johanna” was found dead in a wooded area outside Lindshammar in southeastern Sweden after a major police operation in August last year.

Johanna and the man had made contact via the internet, she wanted to be a model and he claimed to be a photographer.

The contents of the man's computer also provided evidence that he had had contact with a large number of women and that in several cases, he had pretended to represent a fashion company and wanted to take their pictures.

After the forensic investigation was carried out, investigators concluded that Johanna had been strangled to death in the 37-year-old's apartment and then dumped in the woods.

The man maintained that Johanna's death was accidental and occurred in connection with a sex act that went too far.

But in May the district court completely rejected the explanation given by the 37-year-old that he had placed a noose made out of an electrical lead around Johanna's neck while having consensual sex.

Instead they supported the prosecutor's theory that the man strangled the girl with his bare hands. In order to kill her he must have held on for at least three minutes, which made the court conclude that he intended to take her life.

The motive was believed to be jealousy and the man was said to have shown a strong inclination to exert his control over the girl.

Scratches on the 37-year-old's arms and skin fragments under the victim's nails also indicate that she had tried to fight him off and defend herself.

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The district court didn't think that the murder had been of such cruelty to warrant a life sentence. But neither were there any extenuating circumstances, and they therefore they sentenced him to 16 years in prison.

But the prosecutor, wanting a life sentence, appealed the verdict.

On Friday the court of appeals sentenced the 37-year-old to 17 years in prison and also convicted him of child rape for the 2007 incident, a charge of which he had previously been aquitted.

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