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Murder suspect sent 10,000 texts from jail

A 31-year-old man recently convicted of stabbing a man to death used a smuggled mobile phone to send more than 10,000 text messages from inside his cell in a Swedish jail.

Murder suspect sent 10,000 texts from jail

“I have never heard of anything like this, it is startling,” said district prosecutor Anna-Karin von Schoultz.

The 31-year-old was not allowed any contact with the outside so he couldn’t jeopardise the preliminary investigation into a gruesome stabbing that occurred in Växjö last autumn.

Yet during his time in custody the man sent an average of 90 text messages per day. The personnel at the remand facility noticed nothing.

“We received information as early as during the preliminary investigation that the man was able to communicate with the outside world,” von Schoultz told local paper Smålandstidningen.

The police then started mapping the phone traffic and their investigation shows that the man started using the mobile about a month after he was taken into custody.

The calls and texts only subsided when one of the witnesses testified that he had been in contact with the man.

According to Smålandstidningen the man was in regular contact with several key witnesses in the murder investigation and sometimes spoke on the phone for up to an hour.

In order to get to the bottom with the matter the man was transferred to another jail. His cell was searched repeatedly but no phone was found.

However, police were able to see from the mobile phone traffic that he managed to bring the phone with him both to the new holding facility in Jönköping and back again.

The allegations are grave against the two prisons in Växjö and Jönköping.

Joakim Ringek, regional head of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården), did not want to comment on the ongoing misconduct investigation.

“But hypothetically speaking it is very serious if a detained individual have been able to communicate with the outside world,” said Ringek.

Since the investigations were initiated the man has undergone body searches and police have repeatedly searched the cells he have been detained in. No phone has so far been found.

The man was convicted to 12 years in prison by Växjö District Court in February but has appealed the verdict.

The case will come up in the Court of Appeal next week. The man remains adamant he is innocent.

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POLITICS

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

Sweden's Christian Democrats have called for tougher sentences for sex offenders and making release conditional on chemical castration.

Swedish party leader calls for chemical castration of sex offenders

The Swedish Christian Democrats (KD) leader has called for the chemical castration of certain sex offenders as part of plans for a tougher grip on sexual crime and punishment in Sweden.

Speaking to the Swedish parliament on July 1st, KD party leader Ebba Busch said, “Every day, 27 rapes are reported. How many days must pass before the government takes action?”

“Today we propose that rapists and people who commit sexual crimes against children should be able to be chemically castrated.”

The controversial chemical castration proposal was the headline grabbing soundbite in a broader set of proposals to recalibrate the structure of Sweden’s sexual crime sentencing.

Among KD’s proposed sentencing changes is a life sentence for the aggravated rape of a child, the removal of automatic conditional release for sex offenders, and an increase in the sentence for aggravated rape up to a maximum of 25 years.

In addition, they want a “monitoring period” for convicts who have been released, equivalent to one third of the sentence served.

They also want to establish a national knowledge centre for sexual violence where people who feel that they have “problematic sexuality” can receive support. The center must also “be able to administer chemical castration on a voluntary basis to those who are concerned about unwanted sexual thoughts and impulses and have a compulsive sexuality”.

READ ALSO: What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Chemical castration, she suggested, should be implemented as a condition of release for some sexual offenders. “It may mean that if a person like Nytorgsmannen is to be able to become a free man, a chemical castration must have taken place before the release,” Busch said, referring to Andreas Holm, a man sentenced in 2021 for 35 different crimes including 24 rapes.

But this is not the first time the Christian Democrats have toyed with the idea of chemical castration as a form of legal punishment. As far back as 20 years ago, under former leader Alf Svensson, the right-wing party raised the idea of conditional chemical castration of rapists and pedophiles.

At the time the proposal was rejected by all other parties.

Chemical castration, the process of preventing sex hormone production through chemicals, can reduce sexual libido but the effects on those with deviant behaviours are relatively unknown.

Chemical castration can also prove costly as it is not a one-off treatment but rather requires regular interventions, which means the police would be reliant on those sentences to chemical castration making regular trips to the authorities for further treatment.

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