Couple in court over son’s murder

The mother and stepfather of a ten-year old boy who went missing at the end of January have been remanded in custody by a court in Eksjö, southern Sweden, suspected of his murder.

The parents are accused of killing the boy, referred to in the press only as Bobby, at their house near Nässjö, in January. The stepfather held his head in his hands as the decision to keep him locked up was announced. According to his lawyer, Per Oehme, the man has taken the news badly.

“He is shattered. He would have preferred to have stay away from the court today,” he said.

Bobby’s mother entered the court after her husband. She was red in the face and very emotional when the judge said she would remain in custody for at least the next two weeks. She was supported by police officers as she left the courtroom.

Around twenty journalists and photographers were present in the court during the hearing on Friday morning.

Prosecutor Erik Handmark applied to keep the woman in custody under suspicion of murdering her son in January at the couple’s farmhouse. The woman challenged the application through her lawyer Anders Berggren.

During the short period that proceedings were open to the press, the woman appeared calm as she sat beside her lawyer. She did not hide her face, but looked around the court from time to time out of apparent curiosity.

Prosecutors also presented a second charge against the woman, that of accessory to murder. The woman also denied this charge. The hearing lasted for about one and a half hours.

The stepfather too was charged with murder, a charge he denied. Somewhat unexpectedly, he did not challenge the application to remand him in custody.

When the man arrived at the hearing by car, and when he left in prison clothes, he covered his face with a large, yellow towel. He made no effort to hide his face in the courtroom itself.

A number of local residents had come to the court to follow what has become the biggest talking point in the sparsely populated part of rural Småland.

The boy was reported missing by his parents in Gothenburg some three weeks ago. A large search operation yielded no results.

Police have searched the couple’s house and the area around it, finding certain evidence that hardened suspicions aganist them.

TT/The Local