Husband killer applies for sentence limit

A woman given life imprisonment for murdering her husband has appeared in court in Örebro to apply for a time limit to her sentence.

The woman arranged the murder of her husband in 1996. She planned the murder over a long period, buying a strong sedative to ensure that her victim was unconscious.

She did not carry out the killing herself, but bought the axe that was used to murder him, organized the killing and was in the room when he was killed. The couple’s children were sleeping in the next room when the murder took place.

Applying for her sentence to be fixed at 18 years, her lawyer Bo Runnquist said that the fact that the woman had been abused over a long period by her husband, who was an alcoholic, should be considered in mitigation. He also said that the fact that the victim had been sedated should be weighed in.

“From the victim’s point of view it was most humane to be under sedation. He felt no fear and did not suffer physically,” said Runnquist. He also said that the woman had behaved herself in prison and had trained as a cook. The risk of her re-offending had been judged ‘almost non-existent’, he said.

The woman told the court that she had been in regular contact with her children, who live in a foster home, during her time in prison. She has also married a man serving a life sentence, and had another child by him.

But prosecutor Gunnar Brodin said he was concerned that the woman appeared not to have dealt in her own mind with the consequences of what she had done. She claims not to remember anything about the murder.

“The fact is that she is convicted of murdering the father of her two children in his home. An appropriate sentence would be far higher than the minimum life sentence of 18 years. It is too early to give a time limit to the sentence,” he said.

The woman has served ten years and nine months of her sentence. Under Swedish practice a prisoner can be released after serving two-thirds of a sentence. This could mean release in about a year if her sentence is limited to 18 years.

The Örebro District Court will announce its decision on 7th March.