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HOFORS TEACHER KILLING

CRIME

Students jailed for killing former teacher

The three young adults charged with beating a 54-year-old Swedish schoolteacher to death in Hofors, in eastern Sweden, in April were on Monday sentenced to nine years, three years and eight months respectively.

Students jailed for killing former teacher

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.

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.

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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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