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Courtroom chaos as rabbit torture trial opens

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 16 Apr 2010, 11:09

Published: 16 Apr 2010 11:09 GMT+02:00

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"Scum," screamed animal rights activists to the four suspects during proceedings in the courtroom. Police were forced to intervene and escort the activists from the trial.

The four men, aged 18 to 22, are suspected of torturing two rabbits to death in woodland and in a cellar in southern Stockholm a year ago. One of the rabbits was burned alive. The other animal was kicked to death while a dog was taunted into attacking it.

The incident was caught on a film seized by police during a house search in January, and shown in the courtroom on Thursday.

The film, broadcast by Sveriges Television (SVT) on Tuesday, shows how the laughing men tape the hind legs of the rabbit together, pour inflammable liquid all over the defenceless animal and then set it alight. They then continue to pour flammable liquid on the burning creature until it burns to death.

Police have described the case as one of the most loathsome animal cruelty cases that they have ever had cause to investigate.

Posters on several Swedish community websites have called for the identities of the men to be made known and threats have been made against them in chat rooms, with feelings running high after the film was broadcast by SVT and TV4.

Three of the accused admitted on Thursday to having been at the locations when the alleged offences were committed. The purpose of the cruel episode is reported to have been to train the dog.

Story continues below…

"I get severe anxiety when I think about it. I can't understand that I was such an idiot," one of the men said during the trial, according to the Aftonlbadet tabloid.

The fourth man denies all charges against him.

Related links:

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:28 April 16, 2010 by peropaco
Cruel bastards. Bet they will get four years for burning the rabbits while the killers of that young girl last year only got 18 months.
13:23 April 16, 2010 by lel
My compassion has gone out the window here. I have loved and nurtured rabbits on and off all my life.The perpetrators deserve to have their balls cut off, without anaesthetic or have acid poured on their skin, and no pain relief administered.
14:21 April 16, 2010 by Audrian
It seems that they were netted before they picked their human subjects. It is a sign of psychogenic ailments. They probably need a long mandatory medical care.
14:25 April 16, 2010 by calamardo30
Death to rabbits! They're evil!

Big Deal... does this desrves news? punish the mofos and thats it
15:08 April 16, 2010 by Icarusty
And I thought you Swedish people were nice and humane, turns out you're just as evil and cruel as the rest of us.
15:08 April 16, 2010 by sissygirl
I think Sweden's respect for privacy is good except in cases such as this. In the US, those creeps names and faces would be plastered all over the news. Everyone in the country would know who they are and never forget it. Which sucks if you're innocent.

I noticed that the Local doesn't aloow comments on articles about sensitive stories, like the one about the boy who raped 2 girls and got pissed because people knew who he was from the news. All comments were deleted and no more were ever added.
15:11 April 16, 2010 by SaxSymbol73
Animal cruelty is a strong indicator (particularly in young children) of future sociopathic behavior. These guys are obviously not young kids, but this sort of incident portends future abuse of the most nauseating and sick variety. Criminals practice their skills on the defenseless first, and this often translates into pets and other small animals. Disgusting, really.

What I'll be *very* curious to see is whether these creeps receive a real punishment, unlike the teenage murderers of that poor girl in Stureby last year, or those teenagers who kicked a 16 year old boy to death on Kungsholmen two years ago (all received less than a year in juvenile detention). Sweden's justice system needs to get off the rehabilitation kick and concentrate a bit more on the retributive aspects of justice.
16:10 April 16, 2010 by calebian22
If the Graduation hypothesis is true, don't worry, we will be able to comment on these guys again in the future after they have graduated to more brutal crimes, this time against humanity.
22:22 April 16, 2010 by tigerstripe
It's true - animal cruelty is a strong indicator of future sociopathic behavior, but in all ages.

I guess Sweden has its share of social violence, despite more and more efforts to make it a non-violent land, such as banning parental violence against children, banning death penalty, and light sentences for violent crime, like the neo-Nazi murderer who applied to medical school and was admitted.

But still, all nations have to do more to examine the root causes of violence.
06:50 April 17, 2010 by jrvegas
In response to calamardo30. From a Las Vegas USA resident, your posted comment speaks volumes as to how your twisted mind thinks. Perhaps uou would like to be burned alive? tortured? If I think Swedish people are evil, does that allow me to act as these comwards with no sense of humanity. I love the Swedish people as well as every other breathing creature. Perhaps you calamardo30 has alot of courage sitting behind a keyboard spewing such hatred thoughts that are posted worldwide. You make me sick. COWARD
14:32 April 18, 2010 by xenyasai
@sissygirl: I have not been to the USA and witnessed how the American media handles certain cases, but I live in Australia and they love the put a name and face to the crime in the news here.

Which brings me to your golden nugget: "Everyone in the country would know who they are and never forget it. Which sucks if you're innocent."

Which is why some countries are extremely careful with naming and shaming someone until they are proven guilty; and even then there are laws in place to protect their identity as it is assumed the punishment from the law is enough.

Why do we need to know who they are? I can understand if you run a business, and in some countries they are allowed to have your police records checked if you give consent to it.

The idea behind the law is that when you have served your time you should be given a new chance. I don't always agree with that, but sometimes we have to meet half way, right?

Or do you get off seeing these people; or do you have other plans for these people?
19:42 April 18, 2010 by harrylatour
I am a Brit,,,and I do not like foxhunting,badger baiting,hare coursing etc,,,,we even had bears being tortured back in 19c,,,,and that still goes on in some backward countries,,,,so the only comment I make is to repeat what my great aunt told me when I was a child (I am 70)'''never trust anyone who is cruel to animals my boy,,'cos they will do the same to people''. And you know,,70 years have proven her right!!!!
10:58 April 19, 2010 by DAVID T
Who know's what the rabbit did first :-)
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