• Sweden's news in English

16 years for man who killed girl 'by mistake'

TT/The Local/rm · 31 May 2011, 16:36

Published: 31 May 2011 16:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“It’s both a good and a bad result,” defence lawyer Leif Silbersky summed up the verdict to news agency TT.

In February the man had been charged with murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, as well as with child rape in connection with a separate incident from 2007.

On Tuesday, the 37-year-old was convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, but the rape charges were dismissed.

Also, Silbersky noted, the man was sentenced to 16 years in prison where the prosecution has argued for a life sentence.

“I guess I am happy that he did get convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, considering his claims that it was accident,” Yvonne Rudinsson of the prosecution told TT.

The 17-year-old Johanna was found dead in a wooded area outside Lindshammar in southeastern Sweden after a major police operation in August last year.

Johanna and the man had made contact via the internet, she wanted to be a model and he claimed to be a photographer.

The contents of the man's computer also provided evidence that he had had contact with a large number of women and that in several cases, he had pretended to represent a fashion company and wanted to take pictures.

After the forensic investigation was carried out, investigators concluded that Johanna had been strangled to death in the 37-year-old's apartment and then dumped in the woods.

The man maintained that Johanna's death was accidental and occurred in connection with a sex act that went too far.

But the district court completely rejected the explanation given by the 37-year old that he had placed a noose made out of an electrical lead around Johanna’s neck while having consensual sex.

Instead they supported the prosecutor’s theory that the man strangled the girl with his bare hands. In order to kill her he must have held on for at least three minutes, which made the court conclude that he intended to take her life.

The motive was believed to be jealousy and the man was said to have shown a strong inclination to exert his control over the girl.

Scratches on the 37-year-old’s arms and skin fragments under the victim’s nails also indicate that she had tried to fight him off and defend herself.

Story continues below…

According to the verdict, the man is to pay around 165,000 kronor ($26,600) to the girl’s relatives. The two plaintiffs in the rape case get nothing as the man was acquitted of those charges.

The court didn’t think that the murder had been of such cruelty to warrant a life sentence. But neither were there any extenuating circumstances, and therefore the sentenced him to 16 years in prison.

“It takes a lot before someone is sentenced to life, but I would have thought this case met the requirements. I want to look into why they chose to limit the sentence to 16 years,” Rudinsson said to TT.

According to defence lawyer Leif Silbersky, there is a chance the man will appeal the verdict.

“I will now spend next week analysing the verdict and decide whether we will appeal or not. But right now, much points to an appeal,“ defence lawyer Leif Silbersky told TT.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:23 May 31, 2011 by l33tshane
swedish 'justice' at work again!
17:31 May 31, 2011 by tadchem
"...he had had contact with a large number of women and that in several cases, he had pretended to represent a fashion company and wanted to take pictures".

The evidence shows that this guy is a serial exploiter of women. It should be assumed that, given an opportunity, he will re-offend.

Mark your calendars with his release date, and warn your daughters.
18:25 May 31, 2011 by jakah
isn't this punishment is too low as compare to his crime..??
18:56 May 31, 2011 by Mib
What always amazes me that if you kill one person, you get a set sentence...say 20 years. But, if you kill some more.....the sentence might stay the same or you may get a little extra time. So, logically if I decided to kill someone, there is no disincentive in killing more people and that really bugs me.

Thankfully, I have no intention of killing anyone ever, but there is a minority who do and they effectively get away with murder by killing more than one person.

Another thing that bugs me is this person will get 16 years, but that is utter BS. He will get time off for good behaviour and other reasons and will serve less. His victim did not get that luxury of any incentive, so why should he? Vitims and their families need to be more involved in the sentencing of these criminals. I'm sure the cash penalty should be switched to allow the family to extend his stay in prison rather than get compensation in cash.
20:30 May 31, 2011 by wenddiver
Wow, were are your Feminist organizations now??? A woman's life is not worth much in Sweden. Where I live the State executes Murderers, so there is no chance to re-offend. I can't believe it is acceptable to the victims family that he serve less than 16 years for murers, rapes, attacking a child, give me a F-ing break, if I was a male relative I'd give this punk a .45 slug to the forehead.
21:24 May 31, 2011 by eddie123
hmm... get it lads, he was sentenced to 16 years... he will be out in 5-7 years tops... that's how the system works out here... very weird interpretations of the law happen all the time. that's someone's little girl that was killed yet the murderer will live long enough to be a free man again.
23:30 May 31, 2011 by StuartM
This monster should never be let out.
00:32 June 1, 2011 by MichiganLady
The murder was not "cruel enough"?! Dead is still dead! And dying while being raped then being strangled and having to physically fight for your life (presumably not half-heartedly either) sounds about as cruel as the situation can possibly get.

Studies in the U.S. some years ago pointed out how "rape" is still viewed somehow as a natural act--if you point a gun at someone's head, that's considered cruelty and torture. But men who pointed a gun at a woman's head in the course of RAPING her were routinely receiving less punishment than those merely threatening a person! The twisted underlying thinking was, "Well, of course he had to point a gun at her head, if he wanted to succeed in raping her"--suddenly the entire crime seemed somehow less heinous to people because rape was involved! Or perhaps the victim seemed less sympathetic because she was damaged goods...
03:50 June 1, 2011 by Stickeroo
Now if he had a joint on him when ge got grabbed he'd have gotten life for sure!
06:33 June 1, 2011 by here for the summer
the IMF rape case and the comparison of the french legal system shows the problems with non jury courts like this. In Sweden non legally trained lay people who decide and the evidence is not made public. The Riksdag elects four ombudsmen representing various interests such as consumers, gender equality, the press, children, the disabled, those experiencing ethnic and/or sexual orientation discrimination. The ombudsman is charged with supervising the observance of laws and statutes as applied by the courts and by public officials, excluding in cabinet ministers, members of the Riksdag, or directly elected local government officials. The ombudsmen are concerned especially with protecting the civil rights of individual citizens and of religious and other groups. There are some 5,000 complaints lodged with the office of the Ombudsman annually, though about 40% are dismissed immediately for a variety of reasons. Only about 20-25% of these complaints are investigated fully and usually reflect an individual caught on a bureaucratic "merry-go-round." Ombudsmen may admonish or prosecute offenders, although prosecutions are relatively rare.

Read more: Judicial system - Sweden - http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/Sweden-JUDICIAL-SYSTEM.html#ixzz1Nzn8XfhD

"Ordinary criminal and civil cases are tried in a local court (tingsrätt), consisting of a judge and a panel of lay assessors appointed by the municipal council.

Read more: Judicial system - Sweden - http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/Sweden-JUDICIAL-SYSTEM.html#ixzz1NzmVvZFq"
08:33 June 1, 2011 by karex

Not sure the joint would have done it. But for sure, if he had cheated on his taxes then yes, he would probably have gotten life.
08:54 June 1, 2011 by xguild
Death penalty people... death penalty. Execution is the only true vindication for the victims of a murder as it ensures that this person will not have the oppertunity to commit the crime again.. its that simple..
09:05 June 1, 2011 by Rishonim
I am actually surprised they sentenced him for such long time. Normally we see the usual 2 years for killing and 27 months for the combo package of raping and killing.

@Mib, we have a scalable penalty system. The more people you maim, rape and brutally murder; the less time you spend in prison. The Swedish systems says one should take pity on the criminals, give them a second change and do everything possible to re-vindicate them back into society
00:32 June 2, 2011 by matona1
swedish and sex problem even the king may God save you
02:42 June 3, 2011 by lucia333
I hope this piece of garbage rots in hell. 16 years for someone's life? Does Sweden take murder seriously? I guess not. What a joke.

HOW is this country ranked so high in terms of women's issues when a girls can be murdered and the murderer let off so easily? I don't get it.
Today's headlines
Julian Assange
Sweden won't suspend Assange warrant for funeral
Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. Photo: Alastair Grant/AP

The WikiLeaks founder has requested a temporary suspension of an arrest warrant so he could leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London for a funeral.

'I want to see women priests in the Catholic Church'
Archbishop Antje Jackelén meeting Pope Francis earlier in 2016. Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/AP

'I told the pope last year during a speech it is time to no longer speak for women about women, but to speak with women,' Sweden's Archbishop says.

Sweden one of world's easiest places to do business: report
A meeting at a Stockholm office. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

It is easier to do business in Sweden now than it was last year, according to a World Bank report.

This Swede has built a procrastinator's dream
Anders Åberg has built a website that allows you to hear what’s going on above the Earth. Photo: Personal & NASA

Ever wondered what's going on in the sky above the earth and in space? Now you can hear for yourself.

Presented by Malmö Tourism
Seven reasons why Malmö is the football capital of Sweden
Players from FC Rosengård, Sweden's most successful women's football team. Photo: Hangsna

It’s official, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

Fake police car driver seized after confronting real police
File photo of a police car. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Three men in a fake police car were left red-faced after they tried to stop a man in southern Sweden who turned out to be an off-duty officer.

This tiny bird can fly for ten months straight: scientists
The common swift while not in flight. Photo: Madis Veskimeister/Wikimedia

Swedish scientists have found that this bird stays in the air for almost a year without landing.

Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available