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CRIME

Parents ‘should get jail for boy’s death’

The adoptive parents of a young Czech boy, who allegedly died due to neglect, have been released on bail by a court in Jönköping. The mother was found guilt of causing grievous bodily harm, and will undergo a psychiatric examination. The court said it would pass judgment on charges of manslaughter on 30th March.

Earlier, prosecutors argued that both parents should be jailed for at least a year.

Lead prosecutor Stefan Edwardsson said that the mother and father bear equal responsibilty for the death of their son, and should serve between one and one-and-a-half years. He noted that the boy would have celebrated his fourth birthday today, Monday, but that his life ended on 8th January when he died of blood poisoning and pneumonia. The prosecutor says that the boy died because his parents did not seek medical treatment for him, and they therefore should be convicted of manslaughter.

The prosecutor said that the boy had a large number of infected sores on his body, and loose skin on his feet had led to necrosis.

“Given the circumstances, they should have sought medical attention during the final days, but they didn’t even call a doctor,” he said. The prosecutor asserted that the boy’s life could have been saved if he had received care in time.

The prosecutor also said that the mother should be convicted of child abuse for forcing her son to lick up his own urine. The prosecution has throughout the trial portrayed the mother as the dominant force in the family, and tried to show that she had lost control of the situation.

Ewardsson said she should undergo a major psychiatric examination; she has already been submitted to a minor examination. He also said that she should remain detained until possible sentencing. He had no objections to releasing the father on bail, given that there there is no longer a risk that he will impede the investigation. He also said he was dropping his charge against the father of serious assault, saying that the evidence was not strong enough.

Both the mother and the father deny all charges against them. They say they did not realise that the sores could have such terrible consequences.

Bo-Erik Malmvall, an consultant specialising in infections at Ryhov hospital in Jönköping, testified for the parents. Judging from the pictures of the boy he said that a number of the sores were infected with impetigo, which is not particularly painful. The bacteria, an aggressive type of streptococcus, entered the bloodstream and caused acute blood poisoning.

The symptoms of such blood poisoning are very hard for a layman to observe, and gave examples where even doctors had died of blood poisoning. The condition can also progress very quickly, with death sometimes coming within hours.

TT/The Local

CRIME

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to forced psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to forced psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months. 

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