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SEX

‘Molested’ girl pays damages to teacher

A teacher in the western Swedish town of Halmstad has successfully sued one of his pupils for defamation two years after she reported him to the police for allegedly molesting her.

The girl, who is now 15 years old, has been ordered by Halmstad District Court to pay her former teacher 35,000 kronor ($4,900) in damages as well as legal fees amounting to 90,000 kronor.

Two year ago the teacher told the disruptive 13-year-old girl and her friends to either behave themselves or leave the classroom.

Afterwards the girl went to the principal and complained that the teacher had placed a hand on her backside.

The principal believed the girl’s story and the teacher was duly removed from his post. He received an official warning and later took sick leave.

When he received notification that he was to lose his job, the teacher reported the girl to the police for defamation and bearing false witness.

The girl responded by reporting her teacher for sexual harassment.

“Since then I have been trying in vain to clear my name,” he recently told the court, according to Hallands Nyheter.

When neither his accusation nor the pupil’s counter-allegation led to criminal charges, the teacher decided to pursue the matter further by suing the girl for slander.

According to him, her decision to report him to the police was an act of revenge after he had told her that she was disturbing his lesson.

The girl stuck to her story during the trial but the court ruled that she had provided contradictory statements. A number of other pupils who were called to testify also failed to corroborate her claims.

CRIME

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months. 

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