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Swedish dad found guilty of murdering daughter

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Flowers left outside the Bålsta home in July. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
15:17 CET+01:00
A Swedish man who murdered his nine-year-old daughter and injured her mother at their home in Bålsta north-west of Stockholm in July has been sentenced to psychiatric care.

Police and emergency services found the girl and her mother seriously injured when they were called to the house in Bålsta, in Håbo municipality, on the afternoon of July 9th.

They were both taken to Uppsala University Hospital, but the nine-year-old bled to death from stab wounds in her head and chest before doctors were able to save her life.

Her father, the 47-year-old director of a successful IT company, was found guilty of attacking the pair on Monday, after the high-profile trial concluded at Uppsala District Court.

A psychiatric examination had earlier found that he suffered from a serious mental disorder at the time and could therefore not be sentenced to prison.

But the man's lawyer, Thomas Martinsson, had advocated for the court to hand out a not-guilty verdict, saying the man had not intended to kill the nine-year-old.

"My client had the notion that the girl would be saved for eternal life, he was in a psychosis and believed he was in close relation to God and acted with 'positive intent'. It is pedagogically difficult to explain, but he did not act with intent to kill in a criminal sense, and it's important to get the [legal terms] right," Martinsson told regional newspaper UNT.

The trial sparked debate about psychiatric care in Sweden after it emerged that the man had sought psychological help at Uppsala University Hospital just hours before the attack.

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The shocking incident also stirred emotions in the quiet town of Bålsta and flowers were left outside the family home after the girl's death.

Bålsta, in Uppsala County, north-east of Stockholm, is situated near Lake Mälaren. It has just over 14,000 residents.

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