Court upholds conviction for Swedish hockey player’s on-ice fight

A Swedish ice hockey player who was sentenced to two months in prison after fighting with an opposing player has had his sentence reduced upon appeal.

Court upholds conviction for Swedish hockey player's on-ice fight

In April of this year, Tobias Dahlström of the Nora HC hockey club in central Sweden became the first hockey player in the country to be sentenced to prison for fighting during a match when the Västmanland District Court found him guilty of assault.

The conviction, which came with a two-month prison sentence, stemmed from an on-ice altercation between Dahlström and an opposing player from Skultuna during a league match in Sweden’s Division 3 back in 2007.

The two players have a history of mixing it up, both having served match penalties following a violent exchange during a previous meeting of the two teams.

The intensity of the feud between Dahlström and his adversary from Skultuna, who Dahlström referred to as “the most hated player in the league”, flared up again when the two teams met again in November 2007.

“It was a chaotic match with a lot of fighting. You always grab a hold of the other guy in a fight, and I certainly grabbed his collar. And according to him, I got a hold of his necklace so that he thought I was trying to strangle him. That’s probably right, but if you look at the injuries, he didn’t get any,” Dahlström told TV4’s Hockeykanalen following his April conviction.

But a few months after the match, the Skultuna player reported the matter to police.

“I was really surprised. But the police didn’t think it would go anywhere. And I didn’t think so either,” said Dahlström.

During the ensuing investigation, police learned that Dahlström had provoked the Skultuna player for much of the match before delivering three or four punches to his opponent’s face and helmet, and grabbing his chin strap, according to the Nerikes Allehanda (NA) newspaper.

The prosecutor then decided to file formal assault charges against the hockey player, because he wanted to show that “athletes aren’t above the law”, according to Dahlström.

Following the initial guilty verdict, Dahlström appealed the decision to the Svea Court of Appeal, which last week ordered his sentence reduced to a suspended sentence and a fine of 21,000 kronor ($3,050).

While happy about avoiding prison time, Dahlström remains frustrated that the guilty verdict still stands.

“I don’t get it. This sort of thing happens in almost every match, just watch TV. And my opponent was able to keep playing, he never went to hospital. He only reported me after the fact to provoke me,” he told NA.

But despite his misgivings, Dahlström said he would let the ruling stand rather than appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Several injured in Stockholm ‘sports fans’ bar brawl

A number of people sustained injuries after fighting broke out at a bar in Stockholm’s Östermalm district on Saturday.

Several injured in Stockholm 'sports fans' bar brawl
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Duty officer Mikael Pettersson with Stockholm’s police central command said sports fans were involved in the violent incident.

“There has been talk of up to one hundred people being involved. It appears to have been sports fans,” Pettersson told TT on Saturday night.

Several police patrol cars and ambulances were present at the location of the incident on the Karlavägen street in the Swedish capital at around 10:45pm on Saturday.

“There were people who needed medical attention. It is unclear whether anyone was hospitalized or whether they were all treated at the scene,” Pettersson said. One person was later reported to have received hospital treatment.

Many of the people involved in the incident fled from the scene as police arrived, TT reports.

One person was placed under arrest as a result of the violence, Pettersson said in the early hours of Sunday.

Police transported around 40 people out of central Stockholm in order to “cool things down a bit,” he told TT.

Police are investigating the incident as rioting, disorder and criminal damage.

No major damage was sustained to the bar, but a nearby vehicle was damaged during the fighting, according to police.