Parents on trial for adopted son’s death

The adoptive parents of a three year old boy who died after untreated wounds led to blood poisoning appeared before Jönköping district court on Monday accused of manslaughter.

In the mass of research material presented to the court were horrific pictures of the boy’s injuries. When his mother eventually called an ambulance to their residence in the Jönköping area, the boy showed no signs of life.

“It’s clear that the boy must have been in enormous pain,” said prosecutor Stefan Edwardson.

From the middle of December until the boy’s death, the sores on his abdomen, groin, backside and feet became worse. Several parts of the boy’s body had been affected by necrosis which led to pneumonia and brought about his death.

“If he had had care in time his life could have been saved with medical expertise,” said Stefan Edwardson.

The parents, who are thought to have been suspicious of medical care, tried to treat the boy themselves.

“They thought that the situation wasn’t so serious,” said the father’s lawyer, Erik Sterner.

Both parents, who are in their 30s, deny the charges.

The mother is said to have undergone a psychiatric examination but the results are confidential.

The prosecutor made it clear that the parents are not suspected of intentionally killing the boy.

“This is about them losing control of the situation. They couldn’t manage with the boy,” said Stefan Edwardson.

The mother was also charged with molestation after she forced the boy to lick up his own urine from the floor. The father is accused of serious assault having injured the boy on his abdomen.

According to relatives and people close to the family, the parents had become tired of the boy, who joined them in the summer, and they spoke abusively and coldly of him.

The couple already had one biological daughter.

The prosecutor has not found any evidence to suggest that the parents caused the fatal wounds.

“We don’t know exactly how the injuries and sores happened,” said Edwardson.

When the boy came to Sweden from a foreign children’s home he had no injuries. The Social Services and adoption authorities carried out home visits during the autumn but did not notice any abuse.

“The injuries were not visible when the boy had clothes on,” said Edwardson.

He made no comment on the Social Services’ enquiry which deemed that the couple should be approved as adoptive parents. The report showed no irregularities.

Both the local authority and the adoption organisation are now expected to review their processes.

“There are a lot of requirements to be able to adopt,” said Eva Jonasson Melin at the organisation which arranged the adoption.

“The fact that this has happened has shocked us and the children’s home. We are trying to explain it so that the authorities in the other country understand that this was a one-off.”

The trial of the couple will begin on Friday.

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TT/The Local


Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.