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Woman imprisoned after beating violent husband

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08:14 CET+01:00
A 50-year-old Swedish woman has been sentenced to six months imprisonment after using a knife to defend herself from attack by her abusive husband.

The woman was previously acquitted by the district court, which considered her actions to be in self-defence as the man was causing her physical harm at the time.

The appeals court (Hovrätten) on Wednesday however overturned the lower court's decision, arguing that the woman had exceeded the right of self-defence as she had deliberately used a knife with an intent to harm her husband.

According to court documents, an argument between the couple had spiralled out of control.

When the woman went to leave the kitchen of their home, the man blocked her path and according to her testimony he hit her on the arm and held a tight grip of her shoulder.

Despite the court finding that the woman had indeed sustained injuries, and found no grounds to doubt that she feared further physical injury, it was argued that her use of a knife was not in proportion to the violence to which she herself was subjected.

The court argued that as the violence meted out to the woman was not "life-threatening" she had no right to defend herself in such a manner as to endanger her husband's life by directing a blow with the knife at his chest.

The court found that she had both intended to use the knife and to cause harm, and stated that the blow could have constituted a prison term of 18 months, but in the circumstances decided to serve a lesser penalty of six months imprisonment.

The appeals court was not however united in its decision with two lay assessors dissenting on the grounds that they did not believe that the woman intended to harm her husband.

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