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CRIME

Wine thieves clear out world-famous cellar

Ulriksdals Wärdshus, a restaurant and old event hall world famous for its French red wine has been robbed of its entire collection, valued at more than 3.5 million kronor.

The collection consisted of more than 600 bottles from every vintage of the 20th century from the six Grand Cru castles of the French Bordeaux region. The collection has been registered by Guinness Book of Records for years as a unique wine collection.

The theft happened on the night of 22nd July, but now the owners of the restaurant have spoken out.

“Our neighbor went by the building on the Sunday morning and saw that there was a theft,” said Katarina Ström, manager of the restaurant. “When we got there we saw that the thieves had broken in and taken all of the 600 wines in the collection.”

Ström said the alarm system was disabled allowing the thieves to have hours to burgle the place. She said the heavy-duty glass security door had been opened with a crow bar. “It must have taken hours,” she said, adding that they took the security tape before leaving.

She said the thieves then went down into the cellar where the collection was stored at 16 degrees Celsius in semi-dark conditions.

“They must have had boxes there to carry up all of that wine,” Ström said. “They took every bottle. It must have taken a long time to pack.”

She said police did not find any fingerprints or DNA, but did find a footprint. She said police told her the only way to solve this case would be to have people call in with tips.

“I can’t believe all of the wine is gone,” she said. “Guests used to love coming down and looking at it.”

Ström said the restaurant is insured, but said she did not know how much she would receive back. Some of the bottles were worth more than 35,000 kronor.

“It doesn’t matter, you could never replace this collection,” she said. “It isn’t like you can turn around and sell the collection to an auction. I don’t think this was an inside job, but many know about the wine. There must be a very happy person with his own Bordeaux wine collection now.”

POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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