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Family charged for brutal axe attack against neighbour

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Family charged for brutal axe attack against neighbour
14:50 CET+01:00
A father and his five children were charged on Thursday for their involvement in a vicious axe attack against a 47-year-old man last spring near Haparanda in northern Sweden.

The father and his three sons were charged with attempted murder, as well as acting as an accomplice to attempted murder.

The man's two daughters were charged with protecting a criminal, as was one additional suspect.

“When it comes to the father and the three sons, they are charged for having, jointly and in collaboration, carried out the attack,” said public prosecutor Agneta Karlsson to the TT news agency.

The 47-year-old victim was gravely injured in May when he was attacked with an axe in the village of Vojakkala, north of Haparanda.

The man had previously resided in the village, and was in the area on a visit when he was assaulted by his former neighbours.

The neighbouring family charged in the attack has been involved in an ongoing feud with their neighbours which has come to a head during the past year.

Besides the axe attack, the feud has also featured stone throwing, assault, and gunfire.

The trail of the seven suspects is scheduled to start next Wednesday in a courtroom in Luleå and is expected to last three days.

A key piece of evidence for the prosecution is a film clip of what happened in connection with the attack against the 47-year-old.

The recording was made with a camera the victim had placed on the roof of his car when he visited his former home.

“It doesn't show the actual act, but what happens in connection with it. Among other things, you see that a lot of rocks were thrown at the man when he walks around and fetches tyres he had stored there,” said Karlsson.

She added that the film shows the 73-year-old father was present for the attack on the 47-year-old, something the father denies.

All seven suspects deny that they committed any crime, which landed the victim in hospital with life threatening injuries.

In addition to widespread skeletal injuries, the 47-year-old's right eye was so badly damaged that it had to be surgically removed.

The victim had moved to Vojakkala in 2001, and three years later things started to heat up between him and his neighbours.

The feud resulted in several complaints to the police from both sides, with the 47-year-old being convicted of verbal threats lodged against the sisters of the neighbouring family.

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