Bobby’s mother changes her story

The trial of a woman and her partner for the murder of her ten-year old son Bobby continued on Wednesday with important information from the mother about the circumstances of his death.

In earlier evidence the mother had said that Bobby had been lying naked out in the snow for no more than 15 minutes, but on Wednesday, when asked a direct question by the chairman of the panel of judges the woman increased this time significantly.

“It was thirty minutes at most,” the mother replied. The woman also gave new information about how often Bobby had been forced out of the house without any clothes or only wearing underpants.

“I can’t say exactly, but it was more than ten times.”

She repeated her claim that Bobby had injuries in his face and legs – injuries that the court doctor had not found. The mother was asked several times about why she had give different information at different times, to which she replied that her memory “comes and goes.”

She blamed her drinking and consumption of tranquilizers for the changes in her story.

“My thoughts were going to and fro,” she said.

As on previous occasions, the mother gave only brief answers to questions in her evidence on Wednesday morning. Her counsel, Anders Berggren, tried to persuade her to describe how she had felt threatened by her partner, something she had apparently told her lawyer earlier. But the woman did not say anything, and sat in silence.

“I don’t remember exactly what he said,” she told the court, after a long pause.

Her partner also had his evidence questioned during Wednesday’s hearings. He had told the court that it took five hours before he checked on Bobby on the night of his death. He had earlier told the police in questioning that he had only left one or two hours.

Asked why he had given a different story to police, he told the prosecutor:

“I wasn’t feeling so good then – I was shocked.”

“I found it hard to talk about this at all.”

He went on to confirm that the correct time internal was five hours. The doctor who had treated Bobby for several years before he moved to Småland told the court in Eksjö that the boy “had been well looked after.”

“He had it as good as he possibly could,” she said.

The doctor said she met Bobby once every six months, but hadn’t seen him after he had moved to the house in Småland where he died. She said she never saw injuries or other signs that he was being mistreated.

Bobby and other children with his type of learning difficulty are very vulnerable.

“He couldn’t defend himself. He was a completely defenceless boy,” she said.

Bobby couldn’t call child protection helplines or do other things that other ten-year olds might have been capable of, she said.

The doctor said her impression Bobby’s mother was of a woman who was hard to communicate with. The mother’s language was very passive, she thought.

“She was quiet, monosyllabic and shy.”

Asked whether Bobby could have had epilepsy, she said that her understanding was that the risk of epilepsy is substantially increased among people with learning difficulties, such as Bobby.

She also said that an epileptic seizure could lead to aspiration, the cause of death noted on Bobby’s death certificate, but she stressed that this was unusual.