Policeman cleared of manslaughter charges

A policeman who shot dead a 22 year old man in Lindesberg in March 2005 was acting in self-defence, according to a decision by Göta Court of Appeal on Friday. The higher court upheld the verdict reached by Örebro district court that the policeman should be cleared of charges of assault and manslaughter.

The prosecutor accepted the district court verdict, but the man’s parents were dissatisfied and appealed the decision. They now intend taking the case to the supreme court.

On the morning of 20th March 2005 the 35 year old policeman was sent to a property outside Lindesberg in central Sweden where the young man had been acting in a threatening way towards his parents.

He had already hit his father and the parents were so afraid of their son that they had fled their home and called the police from a nearby petrol station.

When police arrived at the house they were met on the steps by the 22 year old, who had armed himself with knives and was shouting abuse and threatening them.

The police remained a few metres away behind a fence, but when the man began to move towards them, the policeman fired a shot.

According to the prosecutor the shot was aimed at the man’s leg. But the bullet hit a gate, ricocheted and hit him in the stomach instead. The man died almost immediately.