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Life imprisonment for psychologist murder

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14:15 CET+01:00
The Lithuanian pair who in October confessed to the brutal murder of psychologist Helena Bering were on Thursday convicted by Stockholm district court.

38 year old Vidmantas Varkalis was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Bering, a 56 year old mother of five. His 20 year old girlfriend was sentenced to four years in prison for abduction and serious robbery.

On the August 18th 2004 Varkalis and his girlfriend saw the phychologist sitting in her car in a car park in Östermalm, Stockholm, when they decided to rob her. According to Thursday´s Expressen they chose her because she seemed to be "the type you could easily scare".

Threatened with a knife, Bering was forced to drive to Bålsta, about 25 km northwest of Stockholm, where she was forced out of the car and into the forest where she was stabbed to death.

The pair then drove Bering's car to the ferry terminal in Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm, where they left the car and took the ferry to Latvia. Because they had stolen Helena Bering´s mobile phone the police were able to track the couple and arrest them a month later.

The court also ruled that the compensation to be awarded to Bering's family members should be 80,000 crowns each. This is higher than normal and the reasons given for this are, according to Thursday´s Expressen, "the uncertainty the family had to live with for weeks" and the extensive media speculation about Helena Bering's fate.

On completion of their sentences, both Varkalis and his girlfriend will be expelled and banned from returning to Sweden.

Charlotta Zetterström

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen

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