Haga Man ‘never intended to kill’

Umeå rapist Niklas Lindgren, convicted earlier this year of attempting to murder two women, never had intent to kill, his lawyer argued in an appeal on Thursday.

Lindgren’s lawyer Leif Silbersky told the appeal court in Umeå that he would work to overturn his client’s conviction for attempted murder in the case of a woman he raped outside Umeå University in March 2000. He argued that Lindgren’s only purpose with the attack was to have sex.

At the original trial, the district court ruled that Lindgren, known in the press as ‘Haga Man’ after the area of Umeå in which many of his attacks took place, had been indifferent to whether his 22-year old victim lived or died. After raping her he had left her unconscious in the cold.

For someone to be convicted of attempted murder, Swedish law requires that the prosecutor proved that the assailant had realised that the victim could die and had been indifferent to the prospect.

“A precedent has been created since the Supreme Court introduced the term ‘intention through indifference’. But the Supreme Court has also been very restrictive regarding this kind of situation,” Silbersky told news agency TT.

Lindgren’s lawyer said that there was several cases in which intention through indifference had been cited, notably in the recent case of the death of 10-year old Bobby.

But Silbersky also pointed out that the Supreme Court had said that a large amount of additional evidence was also needed to secure a conviction for murder or attempted murder in such a situation.

“This is why I argue that the district court’s reasoning is wrong. There is plenty of evidence that my client is a rapist. But it is a very big jump to take that one stage further and say he is a murderer,” Silbersky said.