Longer jail terms for axe attack family

Members of the family convicted for involvement in a vicious axe attack in a village outside of Haparanda in the far north of Sweden in 2008 have had their penalties increased by an appeals court.

Longer jail terms for axe attack family

Five members of the family at the heart of a 20-year feud with neighbours in the village of Vojakkala, were convicted in December on various charges in connection with an axe attack on a 47-year-old neighbour who was left with serious injuries.

“Finally. Now we can peace and quiet in the village. We have felt a sense of hopelessness for twenty years and the authorities have said they couldn’t do anything about our problem. But apparently it was possible after all,” said village alderman Ossian Tornberg to news agency TT.

In January the family members announced their intention to appeal their sentences.

The Court of Appeal for upper Norrland ruled on Thursday to increase several of the penalties imposed by the Haparanda district court.

One of the brothers in the family had his penalty increased by the court from six years for acting as an accomplice to attempted murder, to eight years for attempted murder.

The court also increased the penalty imposed on the 73-year-old father from eight months for harbouring a criminal to six years for acting as an accomplice to attempted murder.

The court left the penalty for the other brother in the family unchanged and he will serve six years in jail for acting as an accomplice to attempted murder. In addition the brothers will pay the victim 230,000 kronor ($27,000) in damages.

Two daughters in the family, as well as an acquaintance had their prison terms upheld for harbouring a known criminal.


Suspected axe murderer found in Swedish forest

The police have arrested a 37-year-old suspected of killing an elderly dog walker with an axe on Thursday in Arvidsjaur, northern Sweden, after police dogs sniffed him out in an isolated forest cabin.

An 81-year-old Arvidsjaur resident took his dog out walking when he encountered the younger man just a few hundreds yard from his home.

The younger man, who witnesses say had been spotted along the road earlier in the day wearing “odd clothing” and carrying a backpack and what appeared to be a drum, went to attack.

A passing motorist who tried to intervene had his car windshield smashed with the axe before the attacker disappeared into the forest.

His elderly victim died after being brought to hospital. His 82-year-old wife was told of the attack by a neighbour.

The attack has shocked the small community of 4,500 residents.

“This is a small place and everyone known everyone,” father-of-two Peter RydfjÀll, 43, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“It feels safe to live here, but it isn’t Bullerbyn any more, and if there is a lone lunatic stalking the village there is little you can do to protect yourself.”

(Editor’s note: Bullerbyn is the idyllic country village in one of Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren books.)

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