Engla’s mother lashes out at lawyer of daughter’s killer

The mother of Engla Juncosa Höglund, the 10-year-old girl killed by Anders Eklund earlier this year, stormed out of the court room in tears on Thursday following comments by Eklund’s defence lawyer.

Engla's mother lashes out at lawyer of daughter's killer

During his closing statements, attorney Leif Silbersky, who is representing Eklund in his trial from the murder of Juncosa Höglund, as well as for raping and killing 31-year-old Pernilla Hellgren in 2000, read a citation from Stig Dagerman’s “Att döda ett barn” (‘To Kill A Child’).

“For life has no mercy for those who kill a child, that everything which comes thereafter is too late,” quoted Silbersky, just as he had in his opening arguments, according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

“I’m going to lose it if you do this,” screamed Carina Höglund at Silbersky, at which point she completely broke down and was led out of the court room.

On her way out, she dared Eklund to meet her face to face.

“You make sure he accepts a meeting with me,” Höglund shouted.

“I want to talk to you!”

The incident came at the close of an emotional day in which the court learned that Eklund had been deemed mentally ill by experts from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), but not sufficiently ill to be sentenced to psychiatric care instead of prison.

Prosecutors argued in turn that Eklund should receive a lifetime prison sentence.

“The only thinkable sanction remaining is prison. The sentence is life in prison for each one of the acts committed against Engla Juncosa Höglund and Pernilla Hellgren,” said prosecutor Patrik Säflund.

Nevertheless, Silbersky made one final attempt to convince the court that his client need care rather than time in prison.

“The most important thing for Anders is that society accepts that he is in need of care, he wants to have care. And he hopes that he can one day return to society as a person who can be trusted,” said Silbersky.

But Silbersky admitted after the proceedings that he has his doubts as to whether he will succeed in keeping his client out of prison.

“I have to admit that it’s a bit of an uphill battle with a client who has confessed to two murders, one of them of a child,” he said to the TT news agency.

The day’s hearing began with a request by Juncosa Höglund’s father for 100,000 kronor ($15,000) in damages for pain and suffering related to the case.

In making the request, the father’s legal representative discussed his client’s relationship with his daughter and how he had planned to have the 10-year-old and her sister visit him in Canada where he now lives.

“This episode has been devastating for him and he feels really bad,” said the father’s representative.

A final verdict in the case is expected to be delivered on October 6th.


Murdered girl’s mother to sue Swedish state

Carina Höglund, mother to 2008’s 10-year-old murder victim Engla, is suing the government for its inability to protect her daughter in what she claimed was a preventable attack.

Murdered girl's mother to sue Swedish state

Höglund is taking the government to the Stockholm District Court on the grounds that police had information about her daughter’s killer, Anders Eklund, from a previous rape and murder case in 2000, yet did not act on the tips.

“What the Attorney General is saying is that we cannot expect the police to work beyond their own regulations and that they don’t need to be held accountable for their mistakes,” said Höglund to Dalarna Tidningar newspaper (DT).

If the police had acted on their tip-offs, they may have prevented the rape and murder of her ten-year-old daughter Engla, according to Höglund.

“The government will pay for their mistake,” Höglund told DT on Monday.

Höglund is aware that the chances are not in her favour when it comes to suing the state, but aims to make an attempt on behalf of her daughter, and in the hope of preventing any similar attacks in the future.

If Höglund does not succeed with the lawsuit, she will not only have to pay for her own court fees, but also the government’s, but this is a case she considers to be worth the risk.

“We won’t get Engla back. Her suffering won’t decrease. I just want to put some meaning into all this senselessness,” she said.

On April 5th, 2008, Anders Eklund ran across 10-year-old Engla as she was riding her bicycle home following football practice outside Stjärnsund in Dalarna in central Sweden.

Eklund followed the girl a short way and then began speaking to her, at which point, according to Eklund, she started acting “cheeky” and “arrogant”. Afterward, he said, he lost his senses and got “tunnel vision”.

He then raped and strangled the girl, and dumped her body in an isolated wooded area before trying to burn it.

Eight years earlier in June 2000, Eklund followed the then 31-year-old Pernilla Hellgren when she left a street festival in Falun in central Sweden.

He later attacked, raped, and strangled her, leaving the body visible and partially clothed in a wooded area.