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CRIME

Bobby’s mother: boyfriend liked torture

The mother of the ten year old boy identified only as Bobby has been giving evidence about her involvement in her son's death. Her partner was ordered out of the court during her testimony.

Prosecutors began by asking the woman how she met the man who became her boyfriend, and how the situation changed when she and Bobby moved into his farm in Småland.

The court was shown two lists written by the woman, in which she weighed up the pros and cons of moving in with her boyfriend. On the plus side, she wrote that he had a house, a car and a boat. On the minus side, she wrote that he was dominant, jealous, that he tried to change her and that he had sick fantasies.

Before moving in together, the pair spoke to each other every day for hours on the phone. When the man asked for a photos of the woman, he asked that it be of her feet.

“He was interested in feet and in torture,” the woman said.

She told the court that she took part in sex games that she wasn’t particularly keen in. But she said that she wanted to do what he asked and set the condition that he must not cause her pain. After a while, however, he started to break this condition.

“I didn’t dare. I didn’t know how far he would go,” she said about her boyfriend.

The man’s relationship with Bobby was good, at least at the beginning, the woman considered. There were, however, issues of conflict, and Bobby was not allowed to eat with his mother and her boyfriend.

Bobby seemed to enjoy school, but was lonely on the family’s isolated farm.

The mother was asked earlier about her partner’s sadistic tendencies and how they frightened her.

Her lawyer, Anders Berggren, said that she carried out assaults on her son to protect him. Her presence would limit the harm done to Bobby.

Berggren gave no more details of these assaults today, despite direct questions from the judges. He said he wanted to wait until a later stage in the trial before giving more information.

The boyfriend said through his lawyer yesterday that he had a good relationship with Bobby, while the woman was described as a bad mother.

The mother’s lawyer today painted a different picture on the atmosphere in the family’s home. The boyfriend did not want Bobby around, Berggren said, and his violence against her was frightening.

“The electric shocks were worst,” her lawyer said.

The boyfriend’s lawyer opposed the decision to send him out during the mother’s evidence. He contested the woman’s claim that she was afraid of her partner.

Per Oehme said that the woman had sent a note to the man on Tuesday via a prosecutor, in which she said she wanted to break of their engagement. This, he suggested, indicated she was not as afraid as she was making out.

The mother has admitted in questioning that she had been involved in assaulting the boy, but claimed she did so under duress. Her partner claimed that much of what he was accused of had never taken place, and that the woman had been violent towards the boy.

During the first day of the trial on Tuesday, Per Oehme presented evidence including telephone messages and notes in which the woman had written about sex and violence and which were reminiscent of the violence to which Bobby had been subjected. Berggren, however, says the woman wrote the notes under orders from her boyfriend.

The case is expected to continue for around one more week.

CRIME

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.

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