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'Confused' man remanded over boy's killing

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17:19 CET+01:00
A man accused of murdering an 8-year-old boy in an attack in the small town of Norrahammar, southern Sweden, has been remanded in custody.

The man, 27, allegedly killed Tobias Enroth on Thursday in a knife attack. He was remanded after a 45 minute hearing at Jönköping police station. He was brought into the hearing room dressed in a tracksuit and wearing slippers, and did not react to the large press presence.

The accused man appeared confused, and was unable to give his name and date of birth, offering alternative names and birthdays.

"I could have been born then, for all I know," he said.

Defence counsel Anders Tolke, contested the application to remand his client.

"The crime can neither be confessed to nor denied," he said.

Judge Nils Karlberg then ruled that the rest of the hearing would be held behind closed doors.

The man had given incomprehensible responses to questions from police on Thursday.

"He answers entirely without cogency. The answers are not related to the questions asked," said Lennart Wennblom, leading the police inquiry.

The knife believed to have been used in the killing has been found. Police say the weapon is a large hunting knife.

The man had been put in a secure psychiatric ward when in 2004 he set light to his mother's house. He had been kept at the psychiatric clinic at Jököping hospital until being released last November. Ulla Fryksmark, acting head of the National Board of Health and Welfare's advisory board in Jönköping, said she would investigate the incident.

"It sounds serious. We want to find out more, and during the day I will be contacting the senior doctor," she told Swedish Radio.

Flags at Jönköping's schools and at the town hall were flying at half-mast on Friday. No classes were held at the boy's school, and teachers spend the day talking to his classmates about what had happened. A memorial room was set up as a focus of mourning.

"The mood was sombre, of course, and many were very upset. What has happened is incomprehensible, and I don't think anyone - adult or child - has grasped it. This will take time to sink in," said school principal Stephan Rapp.

The man has so far been questioned just once, straight after he was arrested on Thursday. The man at that point denied any offence.

Police say they have quite a clear picture of what happened during the attack, but it is so far unclear why the boy was attacked.

An autopsy later this week will reveal how the boy was injured.

The man has had voluntary contact with psychiatric services since he was discharged from the Jönköping clinic in November. The most recent contact would have been on the morning of the attack, but the man did not turn up.

"We take care of our patients," said Monila Hammarén at Ryhov hospital.

"We tried to get hold of him several times, but couldn't reach him," she said.

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