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CRIME

Court orders doc held over baby’s death

The doctor suspected of having killed a newborn baby was remanded in custody on Friday on suspicion of manslaughter.

Court orders doc held over baby's death

The doctor must now spend a week in a detention centre while prosecutors continue interviewing witnesses as a part of the investigation.

Additional interrogations are expected to take place with the attending nurses who worked with the doctor on September 20th last year, the date the doctor is suspected of having ended the life of the newborn to save it from further suffering.

According to unconfirmed reports published in newspaper Aftonbladet, the baby girl had suffered brain damage during a previous hospital visit.

According to the head of the Solna District Court, a autopsy report is at the heart of the criminal suspicions.

The report shows that the infant had received an exceedingly high dose of sodium thiopental and morphine.

“It’s most likely that the doctor delivered the high dose,” said chief judge Lars Lindström.

If prosecutors decide to bring formal charges, they are to be filed by 11am on March 13th at the latest, at which time the doctor’s detention will be reviewed.

According to Sweden’s criminal code, manslaughter entails a “premeditated death” but isn’t considered a murder because it is “less serious” or can be seen as less serious because of “the circumstances which led up to the deed”.

Manslaughter carries a penalty of between six and ten years in prison.

Prior to the remand order, the doctor’s attorney, Björn Hurtig, had rejected the notion that his client should be detained upon hearing of the prosecutor’s request.

“We dispute it outright,” he said.

The doctor denies that there is probable cause to suspect that any crime has been committed whatsoever, let alone that it was she who committed it.

She claims, according to her attorney, that the suffering she’ll endure while in detention outweighs the prosecutor’s reasons for wanting to have her deprived of her liberty.

The public and the media were barred from entering the courtroom during until the remand hearing was over and the court had made its decision.

The suspected doctor, a paediatrician at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital, hid under a dark green jacket, which she pulled up high over her head as she entered the hearing room.

CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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