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Boy's killer goes on trial

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12:20 CET+01:00
The prosecution has released evidence in the case of a man who stabbed an eight-year-old boy to death in a random attack in a small village in southern Sweden last month.

The 27-year-old man is charged with murdering Tobias Enroth on a street in Norrhammar, near Jönköping. The man is believed to have carried out the killing after hearing voices in his head. He told police that he felt threatened by "people and others." He believed that the threat would disappear if he killed somebody.

He killed Tobias Enroth in broad daylight on a pavement in the small town of Norrahammar. The boy was stabbed around 40 times, and a number of stab wounds were found in his neck.

The man's memory of the day in question has returned in part, but prosecutors say he still has no clear recollection of the attack itself.

He told police that he remembers being in his apartment in Norrahammar, where he heard voices telling him to go out and murder somebody. He took three kitchen knives and went out onto the street.

He said he saw a couple walking down his side of the street, and the voices told him to attack them. He then caught sight of Tobias Enroth on the other side of the street, upon which the voices gave him new instructions. He crossed the street and attacked the little boy.

The man said in questioning that he still has recollections of things being said during the attack, which he said could have come from witnesses trying to intervene or from the voices in his head.

He had intended to commit suicide following the attack, but 'did not have time' he said in questioning.

Psychiatrists at Jönköping hospital had prescribed medicine to the man, but he had stopped taking it over time. He explained this by saying that it "tasted funny."

Just a few months prior to the murder, the man had been sectioned for his psychiatric problems. He was then released from psychiatric care and stayed in contact with psychiatric services voluntarily. His mother has said that she contacted the psychiatric services shortly before the murder to get help for her son. She says her concerns were not taken seriously.

A full psychiatric assessment of the man will be ready by Monday.

"My own opinion is that he is suffering from a serious psychiatric disorder," said prosecutor Anders Brokelind, emphasizing that he was speaking as a layman.

The man's account of when he first saw Tobias is not consistent. He has also said on occasion that he saw the young boy walk down the pavement in front of his house, and that he then started to follow hi,

There is DNA evidence against the man, although according to Brokelind a conviction could be secured on the strength of eyewitness evidence along.

The action of eyewitnesses succeeded in getting the man to stop the attack, but Tobias' injuries were by then so serious that there was little chance of him surviving.

The man's trial starts next week in Linköping.

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