• Sweden's news in English

Teen convicted for murder of 86-year-old

TT/David Landes · 3 Aug 2009, 12:47

Published: 03 Aug 2009 12:47 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 19-year-old, who was on temporary leave from a treatment centre at the time of the attack, was convicted for murder and could have been sentenced to life in prison.

But the district court in Skaraborg District Court reduced the man’s sentence in light of his young age, reducing the prison term to nine years, according to TV4.

The incident took place the evening of March 21st when the 19-year-old knocked on the door of an elderly couple in Skövde in central Sweden.

When the 86-year-old man opened the door, the 19-year-old gave him a vicious beating. The man fell into a coma and died five weeks later.

During the trial, the 19-year-old said he was intoxicated during the attack and only has fragmented memories of the incident.

An investigation of the 19-year-old following the crime revealed that he suffered from ADHD and a mild form of autism.

Story continues below…

While he confessed to serious assault and manslaughter, the 19-year-old didn’t believe he had committed murder, but the court ultimately ruled otherwise.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:31 August 3, 2009 by here for the summer
I don't understand. How does being 19 make you too young to be punished at the same time at 15 you are old enough to make your own legal decisions. I also don't understand how being drunk or having ADHD and killing people means you should be in prison for less time. As I understood the purpose of prison is to protect the population from people like this guy. The British and Americans got the jury system from the vikings "a jury of your peers". I wonder if 12 people from this town would have given this guy just 9 years.
13:36 August 3, 2009 by jimmyjames
Look, I'm not Swedish, therefore I do not presume to tell you guys how to manage your affairs. However, I'm personally sick and tired of hearing people who have committed heinous crimes beg pardon due to some weird, out-in-left field, new, and previously unheard of mental illness coupled with the age old,"......I was drunk..." excuse(s). Here is my take on it : If your mental illness creates a mind where you honestly do not comprhend that murder, rape, or other violent assualt is wrong, then you are far to dangerous to be allowed to walk the streets. Mental Hospital for life ( maximum secure ward ). As for the nine year sentence : In all seriousness that is a literal slap in the face to the man's wife and family. A law abiding man lives 86 years in gets beat to death on his front porch by some punk dim-wit and the government says 9 years is justice !!! Outrageous.
14:00 August 3, 2009 by Kaethar
Expats will always complain. :)

But if you're not a Swedish citizen and not involved in politics there isn't much you can do. ;)

Yes, I am Swedish and agree with this sentence.
14:39 August 3, 2009 by here for the summer
as you might guess from my screen name .. I'm not even an expat .I am not complaining or trying to change the system. I'm just trying to understand the culture and the thinking .. i am just here for the summer , but every summer ( for 12 years now and hopefully forever ). my wife is swedish and my kids have dual . so i have reason to try and learn. I love the swedish culture and people .. just many times I don't understand

So Kaethar you agree with the sentence . What is your and maybe the Swedish thinking on this? Do you think that this 19 year old who killed morfar will be better when he is let out at age 27?

Seems like he is mentally ill which all countries are struggling with how to handle. I think the US ( which is not something to copy ) threw out not guilty by reason on insanity a while ago and now has guilty but insane for many crimes. The only thing I know is that I wouldn't want my kids morfar or my kids living near this guy in 9 years.
16:01 August 3, 2009 by Ken114
This is just wrong, 9 years, what a sad joke this must be to the family of the murdered man.

My cousin was murdered in Sweden, the POS spent a few years at what amounts to as a summer camp, was released and then killed a Swedish police man. Time will tell if he is released again so he can do it a 3rd time.

I saw what the murder of my cousin did to his parents, they were never the same.

BTW, A lot of Swedes also complain about the lack of real justice but until they start to raise hell (Swedes are too nice to complain except around the kitchen table) with the govt things will probably not change.
16:26 August 3, 2009 by Swedelecious
This is exactly the kind of mindboggling events that makes me ashamed to be Swedish. The guy murdered an innocent old man and he gets 9 years? And mind you, Swedish prisons are like daycare compared to U.S. facilities. If someone did this to my granddad, I'd accept nothing less than life. The argument is that he's young? Meaning he will have his whole life to continue to ruin peoples' lives? I don't get it and it makes me sick. Ken is right, Swedes are way too timid and reserved to cause any real changes.
18:20 August 3, 2009 by bocale1
I am not Swedish but I live in Sweden... said that, just as background, I think is quite difficult to judge the sentence from this article... the fact that a man died is terrible and cannot be excused but we should know a little more about how the facts took place before judging what the guy deserves.

E.g.: did he intended to murder him? which kind of mental disease he has? is there any chance to improve his stability and reduce the risk of violent behaviors?

All those points should be considered before deciding to basically stop the life of a 19 years old person.

All in all, 9 years is not peanuts either. And the example of countries like US where much more severe sentences are applied is not really encouraging, given the number and trends of crimes that happen there.
18:21 August 3, 2009 by I Love it when ...
only 9 yrs

whatever happened to life in prison",

maybe thats only in the US

18:25 August 3, 2009 by browneyes10
This kind of sad news makes me upset and I cant believe that this can be happened in a cool and nice country like Sweden.

I am totally agree with ''Swedelecious''.
20:13 August 3, 2009 by Harding00
If I lived in Stockholm, or some major city (I live up North in Piteå) and I knew Swedish more fluently, I would really like to organize a protest regarding Sweden's horrible criminal justice system. I see no other way to get policy makers, judges, and parliament, to open their eyes. And since I do not have my Swedish citizenship yet, I can't vote to change things, but I could always protest.
23:01 August 3, 2009 by arnuxii
Sweds have been told that crime is not reduced by having long sentences for criminals so they think this is the correct sentence.

Its just ignorance, the Sweds don't know any better.

So they have a murder rate 5x that of Singapore that hangs murders.

Their society pays a huge price in increased crime rates
01:39 August 4, 2009 by The Lix-a
blooody hell, my girlfriends brothers both suffer from ADHD and exactly the same mild autism. They ceartainly wouldnt or could beat an old man to death, theyre 2 just really kind and generous guys.

What a load of pooo, um he did that act because hes a vicious psycopath.
10:16 August 4, 2009 by DMatni
Don't forget we in Singapore hang drug traffickers too. And fine loiterers, people who spit, litter, chew gum, jay walk and protest in public. *wink*

I think balance in justice is key although that is a super fine and fuzzy line to tread on. 9 years is no joke to the perpetrator since he is so young but 9 years is also nothing to the family who lost their loved one. But what irks me the most is when they say 19 is too young to serve an 'adult' portion prison sentence. When did crime become age appropriate? Yes, taking someone's life is wrong but since you don't qualify the age requirement for this type of crime, we'll reduce your sentence. Don't even get me started on rape sentences here....
11:32 August 4, 2009 by nrc71
Sorry, but if you take a life not out of self defense you should get life in prison. the Swedish justice system is really screwed up. I have a friend who was jumped at night and stabbed in the side so he beat the crap out of the TWO guys who jumped him. They got a slap on the wrist he went to jail. Something is really wrong here.
11:58 August 4, 2009 by bocale1
@armuxii, actually you seem to be pretty ignorant about the topics under discussion.

There is little evidence of a relationship between severity of sentences and criminal trends worldwide. Most of the US states apply death penalty and nevertheless they have very high homicide rate compared to European standards (US: +/- 5,8/100.000 vs. Sweden, 2,2-2,6/100.000).

From the other side, there are countries with quite low murder rates that have much softer sentences applied.

And there is no sense to compare Singapore with Europe, the cultural differences are too wide.

The attitude of a population about committing a crime is the result of several factors, like traditions, conflicts, habits and so on and cannot by simplified in a so easy equation as you do.
14:41 August 4, 2009 by this_aint_sparta
or may be thats coz the guy he killed was 86, May be in the swedish justice formula the param. of the age of the guy killed also matters. May be if you are 18 and kill someone above 100 and you suffer from something no one heared before (ADHG, AILP . . . . )you will be prosecuted for 5 five hours of community service, probably helping people in some harbor in the summers.
02:11 August 5, 2009 by jack sprat
Reckon if they'd given him a slap on the wrist and 2 weeks community service you'd likely have said the same thing.

Oh sorry,...what have I said,...slap on the wrist of a criminal,....no,no,no cant do terrible things like that in Sweden,...not even to murderers!
02:26 August 5, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
Go and serve 9 years in prison and then come back and tell me it was just a slap on the wrist. Until then: eat !
02:48 August 5, 2009 by jack sprat
Amazing how I always bring out the intellectual side of you Bender....
06:23 August 5, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
The post was not primarily aimed at you, but rather at all the imbeciles around here (including you).

Crime should be punished and I don't mind locking in hard core criminals for life. I do however think that circumstances should be taken into account, and neither me nor anyone else here knows the details about this case.
11:30 August 5, 2009 by kaiser soeze
9 years as the thougth the poor old man would only survive 9 more.
Today's headlines
Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available