Judge threatened after cutting victim’s compensation

A appeal court judge has received a barrage of death threats after reducing the damages awarded to a girl who watched her mother be murdered and who was then raped by the killer.

Bertil Hübinette was presiding in the Göta Appeal Court on Thursday and announced the unanimous decision to support the life sentence handed down to the 35 year old killer. But the court also cut the 14 year old girl’s damages payout by 100,000 kronor, to 510,850 kronor.

That may have been a record damages award, but the decision was unpopular.

Critics argued that it sent the wrong message and was an unecessary blow to the girl.

“You can’t even imagine what this girl has been through – could it be any worse?” said Hans Klette, chairman of the National Association for Victim Support.

While the decision was not Hübinette’s alone, he has been the focus of the fury following the decision.

The 66 year old judge told Dagens Nyheter that some people were sending death threats by SMS and others were calling him directly. And the threats were not just directed at him. One said:

“I will rape your wife and murder your grandchildren. I wonder if that will be enough of a violation?”

Bertil Hübinette has not yet reported the threats to the police but was planning to discuss the matter with his court colleagues, he told DN.

“Many serious threats have come in by telephone and mail,” he said.

“I don’t scare easily but this is naturally very unpleasant for me and my family.”

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, SR