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Convicted paedophile allowed to adopt
File photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Convicted paedophile allowed to adopt

Published: 29 Nov 2013 10:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2013 10:46 GMT+01:00

A Swedish man convicted for molesting a five-year-old girl in his neighbourhood has been given the green light to adopt a child of his own, as Swedish authorities said they did not fear he would relapse into criminal behaviour.

The man, who is in his 60s, has been found guilty of more than 90 crimes, mostly different types of fraud. The regional Helsingborgs Dagblad (HD) newspaper reported on Friday that the man was also convicted of molesting his neighbour's then five-year-old daughter in 2004, and was also suspected of raping a young teenage girl.

The man will now be able to adopt, after a review by the municipality's social affairs committee (socialnämnd) found that his risk of relapse was considered low, with all but one of ten members of the committee voting yes to the man's application to adopt. HD noted, however, that the public servants and the politically appointed board members were not given access to the documents giving details about his alleged sex crime. 

Furthermore, the newspaper noted, the claim that the older man, who is known to chat with young girls on the internet, did not risk a criminal relapse was not in any way explained in the tribunal's statement. There were no supporting documents to back up the assessment.

While he was never charged for the suspected rape of a 14-year-old girl, social services decided after the incident that he from then on needed supervision when spending time with his own children. A few years later, in 2007, the man was deemed to be in the risk zone for sex crime relapse, and his "probable victims" were underage girls. The review recommended that the man be given treatment and parenting training. 

The man now wants to formally adopt his ten-year-old stepson, whose mother he married in 2009. The mother recently passed away from illness but was alive when her husband applied to adopt her son and was interviewed by social services to give her consent.

The adoption application has the support of the boy's biological father. There are allegedly no relatives in the boy's country of birth that could care for him if he had to return. The boy is also known to have a disability.

Following reports about the case in the Swedish media, the head of social services in Helsingborg has decided to file a complaint about the investigation into whether the man is fit to adopt.

"I should have stopped it," social services head Dinah Åbinger told the TT news agency.

"I can only say that it was a weak investigation. There are questions that aren't described in depth and the investigation should have been resubmitted to family court even before it reached the committee. Because of that I'm reporting us to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (Inspektionen för vård och omsorg, IVO)."

TT/Ann Törnkvist (news@thelocal.se)

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