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Students jailed for killing former teacher

TT/The Local/rm · 15 Aug 2011, 12:15

Published: 15 Aug 2011 12:15 GMT+02:00

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The three suspects had visited a pizzeria in Hofors on April 3rd where they ran into Tommy Johansson, who had been one of the young 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 and touched her breasts. Her boyfriend 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.

On Monday, the 20-year-old man charged with the murder of Johansson was sentenced by Gävle district court to nine years in prison.

His girlfriend got three years for aggravated assault and manslaughter and the friend who assisted in the deed was sentenced to eight months for complicity to the crime.

The court stated in their ruling that the 20-year-od perpetrator must have intended to kill the teacher or at least have been indifferent to the fact that the victim might die from the assault.

The court also said that there were no mitigating circumstances to the crime and that the 20-year-old was therefore sentenced with murder.

The defendant has admitted to the assault but has been adamant when questioned that he thought the victim would survive.

But the court did not believe his story.

“We think that due to the extent of the violence, and the prolonged time during which it took place, points to the fact that the man had a direct intent to kill his victim, but we have chosen to leave it at saying that he must have been aware that he could,” said judge Anita Wallin Wiberg to news agency TT.

According to the 20-year-old's defense lawyer he intends to appeal the verdict.

"The defense does not share the court's assessment that it has been proved that my client is guilty of all the violence that the prosecution claims," said defense lawyer Gustaf Andersson.

The other two assailants have in their statements claimed that the 20-year-old repeatedly jumped on the victim's head, something he has denied.

"I jumped on his chest, not from up high, it was more to make my point. I did that twice,” he said during the trial.

The 21-year-old girlfriend was charged with murder and an alternative charge of being an accomplice to murder but was ultimately sentenced to aggravated assault and manslaughter.

Story continues below…

It is the court’s opinion that she did not want the teacher to die but that she has contributed to his death through her actions.

“Among other things she tried to stop the 20-year-old and attempted to call an ambulance. But she still took part in the deed and has acted carelessly,” said Wallin Wiberg.

As the three defendants were all under 21 at the time of the murder, their sentences are shorter than if they would have been older.

The 20-year-old man and his girlfriend will also pay damages of 100,000 kronor ($15,378) to the teacher's two children, who will receive 50,000 each.

It was Johansson's daughter who found him beaten to death in the hallway of his house.

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

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Your comments about this article

12:40 August 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
Why is the victims name published and not the perpetrators? I know why.
12:47 August 15, 2011 by Smokebox
I don't understand why the swedes waste all this time and money on court cases. They all get a slap on the wrist and they are free before you know it...
13:02 August 15, 2011 by jamesblish
Hahahaha, I don't know what to do except laugh. It's so sad and pathetic. A guy gets STOMPED TO DEATH in his own home and the dude who did it gets nine - NINE - years in prison? We might as well have given him a bag of candy and a pat on the back. And the 100k in damages - that's a laugh. Anything less than a million a pop is a disgrace.
13:05 August 15, 2011 by Keith #5083
I have very rarely found occasion to point out an error to TL - but this one really is something:

"........killing a 54-year-old Swedish schoolteacher to death"


I also find this very strange especially when they have now been convicted.
13:11 August 15, 2011 by canuk
im with you jacquelinee. i think i know why too....
13:39 August 15, 2011 by Snoopy!
damm Keith #5083 you beat me to it , yes killing to death ! wufffffuckkckkc?
14:05 August 15, 2011 by karex
@ Keith: I was about to say the same thing. Is there any other kind of killing aside from "to death"?
14:35 August 15, 2011 by Dazzler
I think that might go in the same vein as Killing me softly!
15:00 August 15, 2011 by andyron2
I thought i read the punishment was 9 years few hrs back or i got number blind.thought 9yrs was ok compared to the previous cases.But turned out to be same old pathetic judgement.I think even if the culprit would have killed a couple more,1+2 free,he would have been given same punishment.
15:14 August 15, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
That 100,000 SEK fine is an absolute farce compared to what the teacher's children have lost, even in purely financial terms. And why does Sweden appear to have an 'intermediate adulthood' category for muderers between 18 and 21, who receive lighter sentences? Why is Sweden so afraid to hold people accountable for the severity of their crimes, especially for torture and murder?

Hope the prosecution points out the lead criminal's pathological indifference to his own act of torture and murder (actually the murderer was probably proud of what he did, at least at the time, which is why he asked his friend to take photos), to not only deny the appeal, but to later justify an extension of the sentence beyond 9 years. I would be surprised if this murdere is not elligible for parole after 1/3 or 1/2 of the sentence....

Once again the Swedish justice system's obsession with seeking a great future life for the murderer (short sentences, trivial fines) is an insult to the victim's family, which not only sends violent sociopaths back into the streets as early as possible, but also sends the wrong message to other violent criminals - both of which make Sweden's streets more dangerous for the rest of us.
15:52 August 15, 2011 by tigellus

Emelie Klein

Robbin Schyttman

Markus Vestling
16:03 August 15, 2011 by dolphin, the
I don't see the relevance of such liniency towards these cold blooded murderes. The punishment should correspond to the magnitude of the crime commited. I am not sure if there is anything more grousome than torturing and killing unsuspecting victim at his home. The age shoulldn't be relevant at all if once they passed 18.

''Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.''

Obviously, they have already demonstrated that they are able to stand a trial and receive a punishment when they tortured and killed the victim without any hesitation. No kid with innocent mind can't do this.
16:15 August 15, 2011 by Prat
Photos & more explicit coverage (in Swedish) at:

16:45 August 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
Hmmm. Robbin, Emelie, Markus. Svenks? Tycker du det?
17:17 August 15, 2011 by Lee_kina
how can they be so ruthless, they are all more than 20- year -old, they should know the serious consequence when they were doing this.
18:23 August 15, 2011 by ironman294
WOW they got 9 years. For Sweden this is the heaviest anyone usually gets.

If the norwegian child killer had shot everyone up in Sweden like he did in Norway he would get much more than 9 yrs. Maybe 12 yrs and a 1,000,000 SEK Fine to be divided up between the 80 dead.

Listen 9 is the best they can do in such a LIBERAL SOCIALIST country.

I love how "well i only meant to beat him to within an inch of his life. Him dying is his own fault."

Sweden a place where youc an rape and get away with it and murder and only get a slap on the wrist.

I am surprised the swedes are not here saying 9 yrs is too harsh and that he should get couonseling and that locking him up for life wont brin the guy back.

Amazing how helping to kill someone only gets you 8 months? hahahahaha
18:41 August 15, 2011 by canuk
In canada they would have all gotten life in prison. Being there and not doing anything to stop this horrible thing, is the same as wanting it to happen. Life in prison is 20 years, there is the chance to get out after half that time like here in sweden. What a effd up society we seem to be living in now.
19:51 August 15, 2011 by jamesblish
Alla perpetrators were ethnic Swedes to please stop with the "I know why":s.
20:46 August 15, 2011 by Banshee
Shocking Disgusting Why do you Swedes put up with such an aberrant system? This is the road to hell you are on. These people were aware the punishment would be minimal and took pleasure in their acts and that THEY WOULD ONLY SUFFER A LITTLE. Sweden the murder tourist resort to the worlds vilest!!!
20:54 August 15, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ jamesblish

That is exactly why the.......I know why's. If they weren't ethnic Swedes, their names would have been stated. We certainly don't want the word getting out that there are any Swedish criminals!
00:07 August 16, 2011 by matona1
Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control,"that is UK by cameron

what a wonderful realization
09:03 August 16, 2011 by trevzns
The judicial system in Sweden is blind, deaf and dumb. It lacks humanity and is in need of serious judicial reform.
11:59 August 16, 2011 by Grokh
9 years for beating someone to death? even if it were 50 fking years ud have to be a pretty screwed up person to beat someone to death.

i really dont understand swedens prison sentences.
13:28 August 16, 2011 by Rick Methven

The ethnicity of the three perpetrators of this crime was discussed at length on TL when it first came to court and the usual racists such as canuk crying out for deportation of the horrible violent immigrants who committed the crime. only to to have to shut up when it was clear that all 3 where nice blonde haired blue eyed native Swedes
13:43 August 16, 2011 by Kaethar
Again we have foreigners judging Sweden by their own country's standards. Nine years is a hell of a long time. Imagine the past 9 years of your life being behind bars - anyone who thinks that's not a punishment is simply kidding themselves.

And - as always - prison in Sweden focuses primarily on rehabilitation. These youth can still be modelled into productive members of society. Sociopaths who show no regret after killing would have gotten life in prison no matter what some people on here believe. Which tells me that these kids did show regret and probably never meant to kill him in the first place. Point being that after 9 years in prison they have been both punished and rehabilitated and will actually be able to pay back the damages they've been sentenced.

Sweden has a very low rate of recidivation (especially compared to the US which is where many of you come from). So even though you may hate everything about our system we must be doing something right. What's worse: One person being killed and their murderer becoming a productive member of society and giving back to the community or one person being killed and then another person being killed when the person is let out of prison 50 years later having joined a gang on the inside. It's a no-brainer.

Nothing will bring this guy back. No matter what you do to the killer. So all this sentence really is is making the best of the situation.
14:15 August 16, 2011 by trevzns
@ Kaethar

Your comments reflect collective narcissism; Scandinavians and mainland's ethnic Europeans have an inflated view of their nationality and ethnicity.

There is always room for improvement and reform in any judicial system.
15:49 August 16, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
@ Kaethar

They did not all get 9 years. Girl got 3 years and the friend who stood by and took photos got 8 months. And as for the one 9 year term, I'd be surprised if the 9 year term did not have eligibility for parole after half the sentence is served, which would amount to 4 and a half years for torture and murder. Would be odd if someone who only wanted to 'send a message' to a man proceeded to brutally beat him to death and then say to the others: 'Good, he's dead now'.

Also, we must be clear that 9 years is the sentence for murder bordering on torture. If people such as you convince the system that it was not murder, he will get a lot less time in jail. And if he begins to reform within prison, let him start to be productive to society there.

And you write that after 9 years they will be productive and so they will be able to pay back the damages they have been sentenced to pay, which amounts to 50,000 SEK each for the girl and the main murderer. As I wrote earlier, that fine is a farce. Merck paid 250 million USD for releasing a product (Vioxx) that appeared to have resulted in the death of at least one man, and OJ was ordered to pay over 30 million USD for the death of Nicole and her boyfriend. One could perhaps argue that these fines were on the high side, but 50,000 SEK is clearly a joke. When were these fine amounts established? In 1907?

I stand by my earlier point that it sends the wrong message to other violent criminals when fines and prison terms are short for torture and murder. This increases the dangers on the streets of Sweden. And as this case shows, it is not only the streets that we have to worry about: apparently a murderer and his friends can smash through the door of your home and brutally kill you there, take photos while they are doing it, and get a comparatively light sentence if they every get caught.
07:28 August 17, 2011 by cattie

"Sweden has a very low rate of recidivation"

It occurs to me that criminals have been educated on how to avoid detection (not that hard in Sweden).
19:07 August 17, 2011 by SheReallyCan'tHelpIt

You mean to tell me that a person can get more time in prison for driving under the influence or intoxicated, than murdering an innocent man???!

Accountability means nothing in this world anymore. Taking responsibility for one's actions.

Makes me sick in the pit of my stomach!

My condolences to the loved-ones of the deceased.

19:58 August 17, 2011 by Rick Methven
To all of the complainers that the Swedish legal system is lenient on offenders.

I wonder if you would be so strident in your calls for longer harder sentences if you were convicted of a crime?

Or is that something entirely different, as usual, for the idiot posters who always apply their ideas to others only, and never to themselves
22:19 August 17, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
@ Rick Methven

You need to appreciate the context. We are debating the appropriateness of a sentence for murder.

If some 20 year old was thinking about murdering me, I would want that person to consider that the consequences of his/her act would be to prison for life, rather than getting essentially little more than a parking ticket and a couple of years of group hugs from a team of therapists.

And rather than spending your time safeguarding the leniency of the system toward murderers, why are you not advocating for more compensation for the family of the victim? Is it unthinkable in your opinion to inconvenience the murderers with a larger debt to the family of the victim, who may continue to suffer emotionally and financially for years?

Plenty of good policemen and police women in Sweden, but the Swedish justice system they serve has become toothless. The entire concept of deterrence as a concept to limit any kind of crime has vanished. I was speaking to a Swedish judge at a bus stop a few weeks ago, and he told me that he simply sends all the criminals (not murder, but thefts and other relatively minor crimes probably) who are brought before his bench home. 'What else can we do', he said to me, helplessly. 'Why not sentence them to some community service', I suggested. He just shrugged.
04:30 August 18, 2011 by Bender B Rodriquez
The guy obviously got a "youth bonus". Would he had been older than 21 he would certainly had received life in prison for a premeditated murder of this cruel nature.

Also, you can earliest be released on parol after 75% of the time.
21:05 August 22, 2011 by swengelsk
google " hofors mord lärare dom " and see the names . . .
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