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CRIME

Man jailed for threatening newsreaders

A 29-year-old Malmö man was sentenced to six months in jail on Thursday, convicted of threatening and harrassing SVT newsreader Anna Hedenmo.

The man, who threatened to rape and kill Hedenmo and her daughters, was also found guilty of threatening and harassing fellow SVT news presenter Anna Olsdotter Arnmar, Kvällsposten reported.

Hedenmo began receiving threatening letters and anonymous phone calls in June 2005. The convicted 29-year-old described how he would commit sadistic acts against, and rape Hedenmo. He also spelled out how he would kidnap and murder her. When he began threatening her daughters, Hedenmo called the police.

Olsdotter Arnmar received similar threats. The police found DNA on a stamp, which led them to the man. He had a history of threatening women in Malmö area.

Hedenmo told the court that she had feared for her life for months.

The convicted man said he was writing a screenplay and wanted to test his story, according to Kvällsposten.

“I wanted to create fear,” he said. “I had to see if it worked.”

In addition to the jail sentence, the 29-year-old was ordered to pay damages of 25,000 kronor to Hedenmo and 5,000 to Olsdotter Arnmar.

Hedenmo told that she didn’t want to comment on the sentence.

“It speaks for itself,” she said.

TT/Majsan Boström

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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