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CRIME

Film of slain teacher’s beating: ‘good, he’s dead’

One of the three suspects accused of beating a 54-year-old Swedish school teacher to death in April filmed the assault with a mobile phone camera, giving prosecutors key evidence as the trio's murder trial opened on Monday.

Film of slain teacher's beating: 'good, he's dead'
The 20-year-old murder suspect hides her face in court

The brutal assault and death of school teacher Tommy Johansson has received a great deal of attention in the Swedish media.

Two men and one woman are charged with the crime, all in their early twenties.

One of the men has been charged with murder, while the woman has been charged with murder and an alternative charge of being an accomplice to murder. The second man has been charged with being an accomplice to murder as well as with protecting a criminal.

All three suspects visited a pizzeria in Hofors, in eastern Sweden on April 3rd where they ran into Johansson, who had been one of the woman’s favourite teachers in high school.

When the trio left the restaurant, the woman told her two male friends that Johansson had groped her. One of the men reacted violently, and found out where the teacher lived.

Once he’d found the address, the three broke into Johansson’s apartment.

There they beat Johansson, subjecting him to severe and prolonged assault that verged on torture, according to prosecutors.

The three suspects also stole a computer as well as Johansson’s cash card before leaving the scene.

Part of the assault has been documented, as one of the men brought out his mobile phone camera to record the proceedings.

“It’s impossible to see anything of the recording, as it’s so dark, but the sound is fine. This recording is one of our most important pieces of evidence against the accused,” prosecutor Krister Frykman told news agency TT.

The suspects can be heard yelling at each other on the recording, and one of them is heard saying, “Good, he’s dead now.”

Both murder suspects deny the murder charges against them, but admit to assault. The third suspect denied charges of accessory to murder, but admitted that he had been present in the apartment throughout the deadly assault.

Prosecutor Krister Frykman called the events inside Johansson’s apartment a “reckless assault.”

The murdered teacher’s daughter told the court that she had visited her father on Saturday, April 2nd. The two also saw each other later that evening at the pizzeria where he met the suspects.

She then passed by her father’s house late Sunday night, but didn’t enter his apartment again until Sunday afternoon. The front door was unlocked, which she took to mean that her father was home, so she entered, and found him dead on the floor in the hall.

The 20 year-old man’s attorney, Gustaf Andersson, said during the trial that the trio’s intention in visiting Johansson at his home was to “give him a good fright,” so that he’d never disturb the 20 year-old woman again.

The man accused of murder denied having jumped on the teacher’s head.

According to the accused, Johansson was still breathing when they left the apartment after the assault.

The attorney told TT that his client did not believe the force he used to be deadly, or even that it could’ve caused the victim permanent harm.

The murder suspect’s comment “Good, now he’s dead” has yet to be explained, however, but according to his attorney, the teacher was still breathing at the time his client made the comment.

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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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