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Foster parents 'hung boys from hooks'

David Landes · 6 May 2009, 13:42

Published: 06 May 2009 13:42 GMT+02:00

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The three brothers were two, four, and five-years-old respectively when they ended up on a farm run by a couple from Dalarna in April 2001.

But between March 2004 and August 2007, the three orphans were allegedly subjected to a range of cruel punishments by their foster parents, the details of which only began to emerge when the eldest brother related tales of horror to his new foster family in late 2007.

The boy, who by then was 11-years-old, burst into tears when his new foster mother wanted to talk to the boy after he had misbehaved.

"How am I going to be punished now?" screamed the boy, according to the Dala-Demokraten newspaper.

He then went on to provide chilling details of the torture-like punishment he and his two younger brothers suffered while on the farm.

In addition to being left hanging from hooks for hours without food or water, the three youngsters were also hung by their feet outside of a third story window, as well as forced to lie outside in the snow wearing only their underwear.

The indicted foster parents, a 42-year-old man and his 49-year-old wife, were arrested and detained in January 2008 and have now been charged with three counts of gross violation of integrity (grov fridskränkning), with an alternative charge of conspiracy to commit a gross violation of integrity.

The alternative charge stems from the boys’ claims that an older boy who was also staying on the couple’s farm also participated in the abuse.

The older boy, who has not been charged, denies the claims, although he admits to tying up the boys from time to time when the four played together.

The couple also denies the boys’ accusations, claiming they did their best to give the three lads a good home until they could find permanent placement.

“There is no basis for these charges,” said the 42-year-old man’s attorney to the Expressen newspaper.

“My client denies committing any crime. He has a hard time understanding how these children could come up with these stories.”

Following their time on the couple’s farm, the brothers were each placed in separate foster families, with each one eventually divulging details of the abuse independently, but in a way which corroborated the others' accounts.

While the indictment is based almost entirely on the brothers’ testimony, investigators also uncovered evidence on the couple’s farm which strengthens the boys’ claims.

Story continues below…

Among items found were handcuffs, nooses, as well as traces of fabric where the boys say they had been tied up.

Investigators also interviewed a witness who told of a conversation during which the indicted 42-year-old explained that the couple had taken in the three boys to earn extra money to help pay for his studies, but that the kids were so difficult that he never had a chance to take any classes.

The trial of boys’ former foster parents is set to begin on Thursday, with the court expected to hear testimony from brothers’ three sets of current foster parents about how the children suffered during their time on the couple’s farm.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

00:28 May 7, 2009 by dtes
they should let me take care of these two monsters, i´ll do it for free, give em what they gave those kids with a little sugar on top.
07:50 May 7, 2009 by Inletwatcher
Taking in children that have been orphaned for money to further ones education! What happend to taking children in to protect and love and help repair the hole from the loss of Mom? I think the criteria should be upped a bit on who is given the privilage of fosterparenting, instead of dumping them on whomever wants a paycheck.

10:50 May 7, 2009 by Snikk
Who did the screening for these two idiotS to be allowed to take in these kids?

Poor kids. No matter what, kids will always be kids. Even though at times they can be difficult, no one has the right to be cruel or humiliate them. Having lost their real mother and having to stay with these f**kers that are just using them to earn extra money... ofcourse they would be going through a difficult time.

The judge better not let these two get off easy!
12:59 May 7, 2009 by tartar
This is not the first time that a a child kept unde foster care has be abused or assualted here in Sweden. It seems like the Swedes care much much more for their pets then the well being of a child.

The authorities just hand out a kid to any Tom, Dick or Jerry. There seems to be a sense or carelessness with the way the authorities conduct foste children placement.

The parents should be ashamed of themselves. In the end they will probably plead insanity and get out of this jam and set off to live a free life but those innocent children are scared for life...

Well DONE!!!
15:08 May 14, 2009 by Puffin
I think that children in foster care are in much more danger of abuse the world over - how many children in the USA have been starved, beaten and murdered by foster carers? And I watched a programme on children in care in the UK this week which also showed poor treatment
15:10 May 14, 2009 by Inletwatcher
I have foster home stories. I will refrain. I do believe as well there needs to be a global reworking of the child care system's' as they stand now. Where to start? How to help?

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