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CRIME

Woman ordered husband to kill daughter

A 30-year-old woman has been jailed for ten years for persuading her husband to murder his own three-year-old daughter.

The little girl was killed by her father in a forest near the town of Värnamo seven years ago. He initially claimed that she drowned, but a postmortem found that her back had been broken.

The father, then 24, pleaded not guilty to the murder, but was convicted and sent to a secure psychiatric hospital, where he remains today.

Police suspected at the time that the girl’s stepmother was involved in the killing, but she was never charged due to lack of evidence. The case was reopened in the spring, however, after the father claimed that his wife ordered him to kill his daughter. The woman allegedly believed that her stepdaughter was hampering her relationship with her husband.

According to court documents, the woman had pushed her husband consistently over a one year period to kill his daughter. Jönköping District Court said the father “would never have killed his daughter if [his wife] hadn’t challenged him to do so.”

The woman was found guilty of solicitation to murder. The court’s sentence of ten years was less than the prosecution had wanted – they had demanded she serve life behind bars. She was also ordered to pay almost 200,000 kronor in damages to the girl’s mother.

She has a previous conviction for serious assault, for which she was jailed for 18 months in 2008.

The woman has consistently contested the charges against her. Her lawyer, Leif Silbersky, said she would appeal. The court had given far too much credence to the father’s account, he said.

Only five people have been convicted of solicitation to murder in Sweden between 1990 and 2009. In 90 percent of the 2,000 murder cases since 1990 the murderer has acted alone.

“It is very unusual to plan and recruit accomplices. Violent crimes often happen on the spur of the moment. It is possible that there are unsolved murders in the criminal underworld and honour killings where people are guilty of soliciting, but it is hard to prove,” said Mikael Ryning at the University of Central Sweden.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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