Ten years for antiques expert killer

The killer of popular TV antiques expert Bengt Janson was sentenced to ten years' prison by the Stockholm District Court yesterday. Kristian Bredin, 29, escaped a life sentence because he gave himself up to police and co-operated fully in the investigation.

Janson had been a presence on Swedish television screens since 1988 through his work on SVT’s ‘Antiksrundan’ as an expert on folk art and rural furniture. On 13 January he came across Bredin in a Stockholm bar. The two had first met there a week earlier. They started talking before going to Janson’s flat to drink beer.

“[In the pub], he talked about his homosexuality and that he was depressed. I made it clear that I had no such inclinations,” Bredin told the court.

Bredin claimed that Janson suddenly started to undress in his flat and made a number of sexual advances.

“I started to panic and struck out at him with the knife,” said Bredin.

Bredin denied murder and claimed he acted in self-defence. He gave himself up to police the day after the murder and helped them recover the knife, which he’d tossed into the water at Tantolunden. He also admitted to stealing Janson’s computer.

The Stockholm court rejected Bredin’s self-defence claims. They did not believe that Janson had been aggressive in his advances and felt that the 22 wounds found on the victims body indicated a frenzied attack.

After the hearing, Bredin’s lawyer, Kerstin Koorti, said:

“I’ll go through the judgement carefully and meet with my client [on Thursday]. Only then can I say whether we intend to appeal.”

Bredin, who also has to pay 190,000 kronor in damages to Janson’s relatives, is known to have had alcohol and drug problems and has a number of previous convictions. He has not had a history of violence, however.

Gay rights group, RFSL, were disappointed that the murder was not treated by the court as a hate crime. This would have brought a heavier sentence.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen